New to creative writing? If you are, then you might want to brush up on figurative language — those elements of language that can make your writing come alive.
What are the basic figures of speech you’ll need to learn?
- Metaphors. These are comparisons between two items done indirectly (not using the word “as” or “like). Example: “That essay assignment was a walk in the park.”
- Similes. These are direct comparisons that use either “as” or “like.” Example: “Your mom is about as elegant as an elephant.”
- Irony. The act of saying something while implying the opposite, resulting in some form of sarcasm, insult or humor. Example: “Ever seen one of those ‘gay rehab centers’ that treat the homosexuality out of you? Yeah, the people who run them are totally straight.”
- Hyperbole. A deliberate exaggeration, often used as a tool to either elicit a chuckle or emphasize a point. Example: “My grandmother is old — like 350 years or something.”
- Understatement. The opposite of hyperbole, often used for the same result. Example: “They say it’s a short flight, so maybe expect to greet me at the airport around five minutes. Tops.”
- Personification. Here, you treat objects as if they were human, addressing them and speaking of them the way you would a person. Example: “Apple is moving quite a bit of that iPad thing, ain’t it?”