Word Play Wednesday # 4 Similes
As Creative As _____________________
Today’s word play is about using similes in your writing.
Simile: a figure of speech that expresses the resemblance of one thing to another of a different category, usually introduced by as or like. A well-known example would be: “ my love is like a red, red rose.”
We are all familiar with many common similes:
As busy as a bee
As snug as a bug in a rug
As happy as a clam
As strong as a an ox
Like a moth to a flame
Similes add depth to our language by creating images. Writers and poets often use them to quickly communicate a specific meaning to their readers.
Similes are such an integral part of our language, that we often use them without thinking. We have unconsciously incorporated them into our thoughts, speech, and writing merely by hearing them so often.
I will provide the beginning of some common similes. I’ll wager that you can complete them without too much thought.
As American as __________________
As stubborn as _________
Like two peas ________________
While such expressions help us quickly communicate meaning by their common usage, they often become old, tired clichés. They become so overused they have little impact. When you use a clichéd expression, often your reader may simply skim over your writing and perhaps miss your intended meaning.
As writers we should be creating fresh, new similes. When you employ original similes in your writing it causes your reader to pause and think about the comparison you have just made and it has more impact.
Today’s exercise is on developing new similes to replace some tired, worn out ones.
This exercise requires a bit of brain work and an attitude of whimsy and discovery.
Try filling in blanks in these phrases with new comparisons.
It rained like_____________________
As cold as _____________________
As sweet as ___________________
As old as _______________________
As big as ____________________
As light as ___________________
Now we will try a bit of poetry. Here is the beginning of a poem by Robert Burns.
My love is like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
Use this pattern to describe your eyes.
My eyes are _________________________________
My eyes are as brown as a chocolate bar
That’s melting in the sun.
You also can try writing other two-line similes to describe seasons, feelings, animals and so on.
Or go back and rewrite some of those familiar similes from the beginning of this piece.
My joy Is _________________________________
Spring is as _________________________________
I’m as happy as ________________________
I am as __________________________________
The key was as ___________________________
When you write and are tempted to use a clichéd simile, stop, do a bit of creative thinking and come up with your own original phrase.
You may have as much fun as dogs off-leash at the beach!