metaphor

One of the writing skill that I am impressed with when I see it is a well formed, well placed metaphor. The sad thing is when I see an ill conceived metaphor (which I am too often guilty of creating), I get annoyed.

I call well conceived metaphors ‘Topical Metaphors’ because the metaphors fits the context on as many levels as possible.

Imagine a setting, in an home, entire family is there. Grandparents, children, grandchildren, pets, great food. It is Thanksgiving. The meal is being consumed. The conversation turns to a recent federal election. Most in the family avoid the topic, but a few engage it, with differing points of view. The conversation becomes heated.

In the ensuing argument, someone says to another ‘You’re as dumb as a brick.” A cliche to be sure but think about it as a metaphor. It is way out of place. The brick has nothing to do with the setting, the meal. Would not it not be better if the metaphor read, ‘Grandpa grabbed his knife, pointing at the turkey, shouting at his son, ‘You’re head’s as stuffed as that turkey’.

Now, admittedly, not a great metaphor, it could be written better. That aside, it is fits the setting. The son’s head is filled with nonsense, and the turkey is as dead as his politics.

The metaphor is deeper, more meaningful, because it fits the setting. It is topical.