forum The only figurative language I seem to be able use are metaphors and similes... help
Started by @I-love-lucie

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Whenever I write, it seems like I can only tell what my character is doing. I can't think of a creative way to describe it. And when I do get creative with it, I just end up comparing. It's always "Sally jumped" or "Sally jumped like a frog". Any advice?


I would maybe try not to describe it. This is going to sound wierd, but I never think when I write, I just kinda let my mind write by itself. I don’t guide it, I just go back and edit. I guess my advice would be to let yourself get lost in your writing and see what happens.


I'm not an expert, but I had this problem before and this strategy helped me. So, think about the phrase "jump like a frog." Then, picture the action of a frog jumping in your mind and right off the bat come up with at least two adjectives describing what you see. Springy? Graceful? Strong? Powerful? Any of these work. Then, insert the best one in place of the simile or metaphor. "Sally leaped gracefully."


I've got it!

Sally soared through the air with the grace of a swan, leaving all of her worries on the ground below.

I'm pretty proud of this.


I always sidetrack a little to what they think or feel. for example; Sally Jumped into the air, it was a big jump. Would she make it? She had to make it.


There's a lot of different things you can use in writing, and I'd recommend using a variety of them. Personification (the trees danced in the breeze), Hyperbole (I could eat an elephant), Alliteration (Sally soared swiftly into the sky), Assonance (Andrew ate all the apples), and other things like that

A Name With No Girl

You can use certain themes or comparisons to describe certain characters. Those themes are chosen in order to reflect and emphasize your characters's personality, arc, their role in the story, etc.
For example, I have this sadistic and greedy bounty hunter. The first time she's introduced in the story is this:
" 'Dead or alive?' she asked, her eyes shone like the coins on the table."
You get her occoupation, one of her main traits, the scene (a contract on sombody's head), and her motivation. Sometimes, less is more.
(also, she has spikey and dark clothes, so she's always describe as sharp, shadowed, seems like a nightmare, and so on. And whenever you hear 'bout someone dark&spikey - Y'know it's her)
In addition, you can characterize somethings BY ACTIONS AND REACTIONS. For instance, you don't need to write she's "scary", you can write how everyone have stopped what their doing the momment she entered the bar.
But, NaNoWriMo is the time to let it all out and experiment, so try to see what fits your wrting style, story genre, characters, and pacing best.

BTW while your description of Sally's jumping is so light and elegant, 50k words of describes is dreadful. Don't feel obligated to describe in detail EVERY SINGLE ACTION (unless it has some importance in understanding something in your story - like the way Sally feels - which you did great thumbs up).


I know ^^ I wouldn't typically use that sentence in a story, I just figured I'd give an example that also shows the difference between alliteration and assonance (alliteration is repeated consonants, and assonance is vowels)