Synecdoche & Metonymy: Figurative Language Bootcamp #3

This post is third in a series about figurative language. The first post in the series discussed simile, metaphor, and symbolism. Last week, we explored personification and zoomorphism. Today, we will drive on to the realm of some lesser-known cousins, synecdoche and metonymy. Synecdoche A subset of metaphor, synecdoche refers to a part of an... Continue Reading →

Personification and Zoomorphism: Figurative Language Bootcamp #2

The menagerie of figurative language is large, unruly, a great joy to study. Last week, we explored its three most essential forms: simile, metaphor, and symbolism. Today, we reach forward to two more specific species: personification and zoomorphism. Personification Personification refers to any simile, metaphor, or symbol that lends human qualities to something nonhuman. In... Continue Reading →

A Plotter Pantsing: what I’ve learned, and what I’m still trying to figure out

In Twitter's #WritingCommunity, the discussion of plotting and pantsing our stories is a common thread. Plotting, the careful outlining of a story before writing, and pantsing, the seat-of-our-pants, unplanned, accepting-what-comes creation of a story, each draws a crowd of strong adherents. Out foraging for mushrooms this week, we came across this beautiful chanterelle, late for... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding #1: setting fits the story

The worlds we construct inside our stories, especially in speculative genres, carry our readers to new possibilities, new ways of thinking about life and what is set and normal. Worldbuilding is one of the great excitements of the writing process, as our minds, omnipotent in the world of the story, trace out societies and structures... Continue Reading →

Put your descriptive writing to work!

A few years ago I found myself in a one-day writing workshop, examining all fiction in terms of three elements: character, conflict, and description. The idea that every sentence we write is primarily serving one of these functions is perhaps reductive, but it can also help us tease out why a passage is not working,... Continue Reading →

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