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Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 45: Use Analogies and Comparisons to Enliven Your Writing

by Tamara Passey

Comparisons. In the pop-psychology of the day we are told repeatedly to stop comparing--mainly ourselves to other people. Comparing can be the downfall of a decent amount of self-esteem, the undoing of some well-earned confidence, the snag that unravels a perfectly knitted day.

See what I did there? Okay, what I tried to do there? Use some metaphors and analogies to make my point. So if we want to keep that skip in our step and feel our confident best, we need to avoid comparisons. But if we want to make an enduring impression on our reader with our writing, metaphors, similes, and analogies are just what the doctor ordered.

Wilbers points out that "Your chances of creating a good analogy are greater if you know how to recognize a bad one." 1

And with that he gives some examples of  'delightfully bad' comparisons. Followed by more examples of better comparisons. And yes, please find the book, read the chapter and get up to speed on how to use metaphors and similes properly and effectively. But for now, I think we've worked pretty hard in the preceding weeks and can take a minute to blow off some steam, you know, like one of those old trains that used to run on steam? *Ahem* Sorry, okay, I couldn't resist the opportunity to use a bad analogy to introduce more...bad analogies.

Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. 2
Funny? Yes. Bad? No doubt about it.

Here's a few more I found:

The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
Now it's your turn. Leave a comment with your favorite bad analogy,

1. Mastering The Craft, Wilbers, p. 250 
2. Mastering The Craft, Wilbers, p. 250

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