In an earlier post, I shared with you some great examples of similes from Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel. (ICYMI, you can find the post here.) Why am I talking about Doerr’s use of figurative language?
- Because the man writes mind-blowing phrases—he won a Pulitzer, for heaven’s sake
- Because figurative language is hard to do well
- Because when done well, figurative language helps your reader connect to your book and REMEMBER your book.
Because we already discussed similes, today we’re focusing on a few examples of his metaphors. Continue reading
As writers (and editors helping writers), we’re always looking for new ways to say things that have been said before. When we use words and phrasing to create images, we’re using figurative language, and in the figurative language realm are metaphors, similes, and personification. It’s not too awful hard to come up with examples of these and to use them in our writing. However, to use them well, to create an image that feels new and exciting to the reader, that, my friends, is something.
I tried desperately hard to read All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and it has over 250,000 five-star reviews on Goodreads. Good grief. I should have devoured this book, right? Well … I didn’t. I tried twice to sink my teeth in and get through it, and I couldn’t do it. I may go back to it because I didn’t dislike it, but it also didn’t captivate me.
What did captivate me, though? Doerr’s writing. Oh. My. Gosh. The man can turn a phrase.
So even though I didn’t LOVE his book, I did love his writing. Because of this, I thought I would share with you some examples of his beautifully crafted figurative language. Continue reading
I’m one month into the new year and holding true to my resolution to read more for both pleasure and to hone my skills as a writer and an editor. I’m enjoying myself too. I can’t say it enough: if you’re a writer, you need to read. Period.
Paul Kalanithi offered many writing lessons in his posthumously published, best-selling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air.
Paul was not only an immensely gifted writer, he was a neurosurgeon at the top of the list of residents ready to graduate from Stanford when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I recommend reading his book for so many reasons: Continue reading