Metaphor Monday

Note: A special thanks to the folks at http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/metaphor for the dictionary definition of today’s topic.

Oxford Dictionary defines the term Metaphor as follows:

NOUN

1A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable:

“’I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression,” said Mark, who was fond of theatrical metaphors’

‘her poetry depends on suggestion and metaphor’

1.1A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract:

‘the amounts of money being lost by the company were enough to make it a metaphor for an industry that was teetering’

That being said, on with today’s discussion…

Metaphors add flair to what may be otherwise dull and lackluster prose. Let’s face it, when you are trying to show and not tell, adding a little spice to your wordage can reap dividends when using dialog and exposition to their fullest potential.

In Corona, I use very subtle metaphors to foreshadow future events with the story and how my Present Day characters deal with events that aren’t very Present Day.

In The Three Safeties, I use a time machine not only as a plot device to move back and forth between the Ordinary and Extraordinary Worlds but also as a metaphor for changing perspectives within the plot.

In Vessel, the use of certain metaphors within the plot allow for my main characters to transcend their surroundings and explore new ways of thinking and acting.

In Parallax, Space itself is a metaphor for Life and each light-year traveled is a step forward for my main characters and how they must adapt to new circumstances and grow from each experience.

What are your thoughts on using metaphors? Feel free to add to the discussion with your comments and remember that all of my books are available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

Settings Sunday

There are characters that often go unsung in stories.

I’m referring, of course, to Setting, the surroundings that our characters interact with and among within a story. Without good settings, all you have are characters milling around talking to each other. If that’s what you’re going for, then bravo. If not, then let’s examine the importance of Setting in Storytelling.

1) What is Setting?

As I stated above, Settings are the surroundings that characters interact with and among. Settings are slices of the world they exist in. A room, a car, the pizza restaurant they eat at. Think of them as the stage backdrops to a literary performance, complete with sets, props, etc.

2) What qualifies as a Setting?

Anything can qualify as a Setting. In Corona, for example, I used a haunted Victorian Hotel as the setting for the story. In The Three Safeties, I used a variety of settings including a suburban home, a coastal Chesapeake Bay City, and a secret complex located in a warehouse, among others. In Vessel, underground cities, The Earth’s surface in Nuclear Winter, an alien planet and a couple of spaceships here and there. In Parallax, I pulled out all the stops and used the Milky Way Galaxy. There are no limits.

3) How important are Settings to a Story?

Settings are important because they literally add the world to stories. Even if for some reason, the writer decides not to describe a setting at all, they are still adding a setting because the reader will fill in the blanks with their own imagination.

4) How much description should go into a Setting?

I don’t feel that there’s an easy answer to this one except to say that in many cases less is more. You can go into intricate detail over it or you can simply describe enough to give the reader a general idea of where each scene is taking place. I don’t think there is a wrong way to do this.

5) How do I pick a good Setting?

A good way to decide is to remember these steps and let your imagination and creativity take it from there: Who, What, When, Where, and Why

6) A Pizza Restaurant?

Yes, I like Pizza. 🙂

As always, comments are always welcome and the books I’ve mentioned here are available on Amazon. You can find the link to my Amazon Author Page on the Right Sidebar.

Happy Writing!