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#atozchallenge : M is for #Metaphor #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

A to Z Challenge is moving full steam ahead and today on Amlokiblogs we discuss Metaphor: 

A metaphor is a figure of speech
that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of
comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a
type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole, and simile.

Here’s what writers and editors have to say about Metaphor:

The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor.
This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for
to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblance
.– Aristotle 

If there is anything in writing that comes easy for me it’s making up
metaphors. They just appear. I can’t move two lines without all kinds of
Then the problem is how to make the best of them. In its geological
character, language is almost invariably metaphorical. That’s how
meanings tend to change. Words become metaphors for other things, then
slowly disappear into the new image. I have a hunch, too, that the core
of creativity is located in metaphor, in model making, really. A novel
is a large metaphor for the world.
—William Gass

If you remember only one thing I’ve said, remember that an idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor. If you have never made a good metaphor, then you don’t know what it’s all about.— Robert Frost

I love metaphor. It provides two loaves where there seems to be one.
Sometimes it throws in a load of fish. . . . I’m not talented as a
conceptual thinker but I am in the uses of metaphor.
–Bernard Malamud
Do you find metaphors easy as a writer? If you’re a reader, not a writer, have you
ever fallen in love with a metaphor on the written page?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Trisha F says:

    With the book I'm currently editing, I tend to have more similes than metaphors – and they are usually rather silly. It's a silly book after all.

  • Yes, I use metaphors, but I have to control myself with them. In a novel for example, unless the character does it as a personal habit, there can be a tendency to overdo it. It's just one more of those things we must watch for when editing.

  • I always remember at school, our English teacher, Miss Spittle, teaching us the difference between a metaphor and a simile – she always used 'he was a lion in the fight' as her example and I've always secretly preferred metaphors to similes ever since ;P
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic

  • I don't use them as much '- not for many reason – they just don't come out naturally.

  • Rhonda Albom says:

    I often struggle with metaphors but felt better reading they are a mark of genius. So not achieving that level is ok.

  • I like metaphors and Alex J. Cavanaugh's comment is true…"Metaphors are great when you know how to use them."

  • I really enjoyed your post. I love metaphors, but tend to use too many – which turns the prose "purple" as the Victorians would say. Anyway, nice blog and I'm glad I found you through the A to Z challenge!

  • Robert is absolutely right, I'm confused. William had my brain frozen half way through. I know metaphors mostly through poetry but today I feel unprepared.

  • I love metaphors. Now whether or not I'm good at them is another story… 🙂

    Nice to meet you through A to Z!

  • Lulu Newman says:

    I struggle with metaphors it is something I really need to work on xx

  • Metaphors are great when you know how to use them. I'm still working on that.
    As said in the movie Rango, 'I think the metaphor broke my spleen…'

  • S.K. Anthony says:

    Oh, I completely agree with Frost!
    I think metaphors are fantastic in helping us "show" the reader and help them experience what we want to convey, but using it wisely while making sure its clear and needed is the challenge for many. Great post!

  • cleemckenzie says:

    I love those image makers, too. They open up the brain so you can see, hear, feel something from a different perspective–a higher one.

  • I love to use metaphor. I'm crazy with it!

  • It helps bring your thoughts into a rounder ball… thank you for a grand post!

    I was out for a virtual walk today, so I thought let's visit the great A to Z team!

    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2014]

    Old is the New Cool…

  • Stephsco says:

    I definitely need to work at metaphors, but they can really enrich a story. Sometimes there can be too much though; I read a published book that on one page there were two or three metaphors and two more similies. Too much for one page.

    Hope you're enjoying the A to Z Challenge! My theme is Memorable Characters. Glad to have met you!

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