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How to Write: Week 23: Metaphor VS Simile: Sunday (Technique)

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    Metaphors are comparisons which replace an object with another for descriptive purposes.  Example: the boulder atop his shoulders nodded in rocky affirmation.
    Simile compare object by using the words like or as for descriptive purposes.  Example: His head felt like a boulder as he nodded in affirmation.
    Both methods are effective in their own right.  Simile are used when you want someone to draw the comparison subtly.  Metaphors are used when you want to hit them in the face with the words.  Compare: Her tears dropped like a waterfall over her mother’s grave; The waterfall of her eyes dropped over her mother’s grave.
    Whichever you choose is entirely up to you.  Some people enjoy the artistry of simile.  Others prefer the unapologetic metaphor.  This is not to say simile cannot be unapologetic or metaphor cannot be artistic.  Example: The simile was like a ballet dancer floating along the lines.  The metaphor slam danced through the next line.
    There are more specifics of comparison writing, but for these purposes the simplistic simile versus metaphor will do.  One could write an entire book about the comparisons. 
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Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst by day and a serial writer by night. He runs a small, not money losing publishing press and a weekly open mic with monthly features called Writing Knights Press.

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