As you probably know, I’m in the process of creating a series of lessons and exercises that help you improve your ability to work with metaphors. Here are the nine exercises, which I’ll be discussing in greater detail later on.
1: Metaphor Madlibs
What it’s for: Helping people recognize and understand metaphors.
How it works: These three “madlibs” have players supply the objects and verbs. The random selections are then put into famous metaphor-based sayings, a metaphor-rich story, and other metaphor frameworks. Players are able to dissect what makes a metaphor in a simple and enjoyable way.
I was right. This was the sort of girl whose smile shone bright, showing you something you’d been missing without even realizing it. The best part was, she didn’t even know she was that girl. It was heartbreaking, in a way, knowing that the substance of this connection—this finally tangible reaching—would vanish just as quickly as it was found. But that which we can’t capture in life, we capture in words.
Here’s an exercise to add a bit of romance in your life, along with an example from my world-wandering travels.
A Poem for a Stranger
What this exercise does: Participants write a poem about an experience, person, place, or object they have lost.
What this exercise is for: This exercise helps poets recognize how experience can be integrated with poetic expression, giving a hands-on experience of using concrete details to empower poetry and showing how poems can capture a sense of loss, transience, or nostalgia.
After reviewing the basics of metaphors, it’s useful to practice the art of metaphor-making. Luckily, madlibs can help us. Enjoy the following metaphor-based madlibs as you ingrain the definition of metaphor into your mind.
A writer builds concepts metaphor by metaphor. Each metaphor is a bridge leading the reader to more full understanding of whatever the writer is describing. Despite how frequently we use metaphors, however, many writers are confused about the nuances. I’m going to walk you through the finer points of what a metaphor is, isn’t, and can be.
Today, we’re going to take a look at slant rhymes in action with the help of our good friends (and my life’s recent Godsend) Mumford and Sons. The resonant opening lines of their song “Blank White Page” calls attention to the potential power of imperfect rhymes. Listen to the lines and skip past the break to delve oceans deep into this topic.
If you came here because you’re struggling with naming your characters, you’re not alone! Many writers struggle with finding the “right names.” I say “right” because, while there’s no such thing as a perfect name, a name is part of what shapes your character’s identity.