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Writing Tip – Put Figurative Language in your Arsenal

Have you ever wanted to write, but just wasn’t feeling it? That has been me for quiet some time. I fell in love with writing but over the last year or more, my writing hasn’t really sparked much joy; it’s been more like work. I would tell myself to do it because I loved it, but I wasn’t doing it because I felt in love with it.

I recently took a state exam for English and even though I already knew this, I kept reading sections in my study guide that said something like this: Great writers use figurative language in their work, language like similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, etc. I’ve taught English and would help students identify and analyze figurative language, but I never mindfully tried to incorporate it in my own work.

So, one evening when I sat down to do some writing, I took an old passage that was rather thin (small paragraphs) and said to myself: “Okay, let’s redo this using that figurative language that great writers use.” The effects were huge. My writing went from skimpy in quantity to actually having much more substance. I even found myself enjoying the process so much more and looking forward to getting back into it. I could feel myself falling in love again.

It’s not that I didn’t try to employ all of the five senses as well as balance the amount of showing and telling, but my writing just didn’t feel… alive. Needless to say, after mindfully using the various literary elements I’ve had in my arsenal for so long, my writing has that spark again.

If you haven’t been already doing this, mindfully or naturally, you could always give it a try. You never know what it might do to improve your writing.

As always, Happy Writing.

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