I like to see people who write –all people who sit down and write, not just those who call themselves “writers” — to try to write beautifully and meaningfully.
One of the writing concepts that I teach is this:
Complicate the Metaphor
To make writing more meaningful, we all need to back the f*ck away from the cliche cabinet and start thinking about how our readers SEE what we say.
Then, we need to STOP thinking about the readers so much, put our underwear on our heads, and start Dirty Dancing on the TweetDeck.
Because what happens when we obsess about what others think of us too much?
We self-obsess, get dancers block, and never-ever become the Carmen Mirandas we know we can be.
Putting a Fruit Hat on Your Blogging
Here’s an example of two metaphors drawn based on Snoopy’s classic novel opener, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
1. The storm broke the sky in two. Rain fell in buckets. Between the flashing lightening, the night was as black and wet as ink.
Not bad, right? Hmmmm, well, maybe. But these metaphors are tired and expected.This is common writing and it is OK, but no one is ever going to going to send you to Oprah’s Book Club for writing like that. Well, probably not.
Normal Blogger note: Let’s say you just aspire to have more readers. Getting readers, in part, is capturing their IMAGINATION, which that kind of writing doesn’t really achieve.
Let’s try something else. Something a bit more like wearing a breakfast as a garment.
2. Evening shoved out the last feeble rays of day. Night’s black-carpet event planning committee trampled its way across the sky, followed by the pushy flashes and thundering feet of storm-cloud paparazzi. In a relentless herd, the crowd of clouds pushed and squeezed in, then opened up, drowning the lights of a sleeping landscape.
There. Now, is that any good? Hmm. Yeah. Not perfect. Maybe a bit forced and needs some work.
But is it cliche?
So Wrong It’s So Right
The key to using “images” that let your readers SEE what you are describing is to use language and ideas which are the exact thing you DON’T think of and that don’t associate with the thing you are describe.
Craft it. It’s take practice to make a fruit basket a hat. It’s takes work to ride Kevin Bacon all the way to Shirley Temple. But it can be done.
Just try. Try with all your ligamental ability.