Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Nancy Sonneman

Writing Too Many Similies. How Do I Say The Same Thing Without "like"?

Recommended Posts

I don't want to turn the reader off with the tedium of "like a" on the same page. How do I say the same thing without using "like" and without sounding like I'm writing for toddlers when I'm writing a novel for adults (mystery/suspense genre)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Like* is sometimes misused. And should be *as* or *as though* instead. You may already know that but I thought I'd mention it just in case. Here's an article on that. Here are some suggestions: resembled, as if, seemed to, such as, similar to, compared to, as though, in the manner, much the same, not unlike, on the order of, etc. Hope that helps. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about bypassing it entirely?  Would that work for you?

 

 

Compare "The wind was like a roaring lion" to "The wind was a roaring lion." 

 

 

It's a simple example, but I hope it makes the point.  If it doesn't, have mercy because I haven't had a second cup yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea to bypass but using *was* makes it a *tell* sentence, not a *show* sentence. Or as per your example, you could say, "The wind roared furiously." Yeah, I know. An adverb. Or, "The wind whipped around the trees, uprooting a few." Just a thought. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with suspensewriter, similes should be an occasional seasoning to your writing, metaphors are stronger, but stronger still is using the verb element of the metaphor:

 

 

The wind roared. It hunted at the window, scratched the door and slipped one cold claw under the jamb.

 

 

I'm overdoing it for effect, but it can be very effective with a light touch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OOOH, Shelley, I like that example!  Speaking of trying not to use the same type of word, the use of the word "the" is way overused.  I've become so aware of it that when I read a novel, I often mentally delete "the" from many of the sentences.  It's just not always necessary and I think it sometimes makes the sentence stronger to remove "the."  Of course, we still need to use that little word frequently, but maybe just not so frequently.

 

 

That's just something I've notices as I've been learning along the way in my own writing.       

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I often mentally delete "the" from many of the sentences.  It's just not always necessary and I think it sometimes makes the sentence stronger to remove "the."

 

 

 

 

I'm curious. Can you provide an example of a sentence where you mentally delete the article and it results in a stronger sentence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

OOOH, Shelley, I like that example!  Speaking of trying not to use the same type of word, the use of the word "the" is way overused.  I've become so aware of it that when I read a novel, I often mentally delete "the" from many of the sentences.  It's just not always necessary and I think it sometimes makes the sentence stronger to remove "the."  Of course, we still need to use that little word frequently, but maybe just not so frequently.

 

 

That's just something I've notices as I've been learning along the way in my own writing.       

 

 

Hi Pirate, 

 

 

I looked at your tip and applied it to my paragraph, but I could only do it by creating plurals: 

 

 

The wind roared. It hunted at windows, scratched doors, and slipped one cold claw under the jamb.

 

 

Is this what you mean? I don't think I can dispense with the first and last 'the'. I don't like it less but I don't like it more either. I wonder if I'm not exchanging overusing the article for overusing plurals. What does anyone else think? Also it shifts the setting from my tiny little room to the whole house, which is significant. Or do you mean something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello to both Marcus and Shelley, who commented on my post.

 

 

I didn't mean to remove the word "the" indiscriminately, but rather, judiciously.  Here is an example that Marcus asked for:  "The sunlight streamed on the lush vineyard like a warm blessing."  To me, removal of the first "the," which seems unnecessary, gives the sentence more punch:  "Sunlight streamed on the lush vineyard like a warm blessing." 

 

 

   Hope that's a helpful example.  That's the kind of "the" I mentally delete when I'm reading (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, okay. When I read your statement, I thought you were saying it about the paragraph. 

 

 

 

OOOH, Shelley, I like that example!  Speaking of trying not to use the same type of word, the use of the word "the" is way overused.

 

 

I must admit I've never worried about 'the' so much so I wondered if I had, I just wasn't sure what you meant. ????

 

 

I have more trouble with 'that' and 'just', I must say. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I wasn't more clear.  Looking back at what I wrote, I realize that I should have made a paragraph break after my statement about your lovely sentence, before starting in with the next subject.  My bad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first thought this was a thread about using too many smilies... then my brain kicked in...i have to agree with the advice given.. metaphors tend to be stronger images than similies.

 

 

You can dump 95 - 99% usage of the word "that." You won't miss it and neither will your reader.

 

 

The advice on the use of "the" is also spot on.

 

 

Every writer has pet words and punctuation which they consistently over use and abuse... It's all a part of working on that goal of becoming a better writer... and helping each other out to become better writers.

 

 

:DB|xD:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.