Welcome to another Wordy Wednesday. Today we’re going to take a look at the difference between similes and metaphors, as well as different examples, and maybe try to make our own. 😉
So let’s take a look at what they are. In short, a simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using ‘like’ or ‘as.’
Snow White does a great job of using similes when they describe her as having:
“lips red as a rose, hair black as ebony, and skin white as snow”https://characters.fandom.com/wiki/Snow_White_(Disney)
In the case of metaphors, they compare two things by saying that something ‘is’ something else.
A common (and some might say ‘cliché’) metaphor is:
The world is your oyster.https://www.britannica.com/dictionary/eb/qa/Similes-and-Metaphors
However, a metaphor can be anything you want it to be so long as it makes sense in your world or in the context of it. One that immediately comes to mind for me would be something like: “She was the full moon in a sea of stars. Next to her luminous beauty, everyone else paled in comparison.”
Now, one could say: “She was the sun in a sea of stars,” but it doesn’t really fit quite so well. For one, we don’t normally see the sun and the stars at the same time. If that happens in your world or universe, cool! Totally acceptable metaphor, but as with any comparative descriptive text, we want them to match the setting, context, world, and emotion that you’re using them in.
For more examples of what I mean, take a look at this writer’s article about The Simile-Imposter & Inappropriate Metaphor. They bring up various examples of things that sound like similes because of the use of ‘like’ or ‘as’ but aren’t, as well as metaphors that simply don’t work for the setting or are otherwise awkward. >.>
For writing purposes, being creative with your similes and metaphors can be a very good thing. As I mentioned earlier, we do often fall into cliches. And they’re not bad, but as the following writer explains, finding alternative ways to use them or describe what you want can have a much more powerful impact. Original similes and metaphors can “help readers see something in a new way.”
She gives really good advice on how to get around cliches in her article: Break Out of the Mold: Creating Fresh Similes and Metaphors I would definitely recommend go checking it out. Plus she gives additional examples of metaphors and similes, both new and old.
Pulling from the Britannica Dictionary, we have some additional typical examples here:
Here are some examples of similes:
- Life is like a box of chocolates.
- He was as blind as a bat without his glasses.
- Her mother was as sharp as a tack. [=her mother was very smart]
- The kids were fighting like cats and dogs.
- He swims like a fish. [=he is a good swimmer]
Here are some examples of metaphors:
- The world is your oyster.
- His computer was a dinosaur. [=his computer was very old]
- The puppy was the ray of sunshine the family needed.
- She is a night owl. [=she likes to stay up late at night]
- But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. (Shakespeare)
More colorful and complex ones can be found under Metaphors and Similes which also has a rather interesting music video at the bottom of the article featuring Simile Girl and Metaphor Man. XD
Now let’s see if we can practice making our own or using them to describe a picture or two below. ^_^
I’m very much a fan of Final Fantasy and this is one of the first pics that came up on Instagram. Perfect fantasy fodder for descriptive texts. haha
But… if that’s not to your liking, might I suggest:
Bonus if you want to practice the color adjectives from last week. 😉
And I’ll include one more for any fellow dragon lovers here. ❤
If you’re up to the challenge or just want to try, drop your descriptions in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you guys can come up with. ^_^ It doesn’t have to be only what you see either. If you can envision certain sounds or feelings as well, by all means! Give it a go.
as quiet as death
like a still pond on a windless day
as hot as the sun
was terror incarnate
was the night / was the day
And so on and so forth. Good luck and thank you for stopping by!