Narrative Writing


Adding Figurative Language

A "figure of speech" is a word or phrase that forces the reader to use their imagination. Figures of speech include personification, hyperbole, metaphors, and similes.

Personification is giving human qualities to inanimate objects.

Hyperbole is exaggeration:

A metaphor is an implied comparison of one thing in terms of another:

A simile is a direct comparison using "like" or "as":

Here is some good advice from a book on writing:

A good figure of speech will not only strike the reader as clever, but often will have a certain resonance.

How can you find apt figures of speech for your own writing?

You really don't have to be a genius. What it takes is practice. Whenever you write narrative, try to find as many apt figures of speech as you can. When you're writing a rough draft put them down whenever they occur to you even if they sound a little foolish; you can always tinker with them later. Whenever you have a vague adjective describing something, try to find a comparison to make the description more vivid, and try to make it resonate. If a character is tall, how tall? Tall as what? Smart, how smart? Smart as what? A puppy is cute. How cute? Cute as what? If you keep trying you will find good figures of speech come more easily to you.

Key Point:

Instructions for the Quiz

Match the term with the definition.