Writing Similes - Orchids The International School
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Descriptive Writing Skills I

Concept: Writing Similes

Definition:

  • A simile is a figurative language used to compare one thing with another.
  • The reason we use simile is to talk about one thing by contrasting it to another that has perhaps no relation with each other.
  • We often use a simile for emphasis. We include a simile to make an explicit comparison and compose a vivid description without losing clarity.

Examples:

Boy

In this example, Rajat is being compared to a lion to put more emphasis on his personality trait. We are contrasting two different things that have no relation to indicate that Rajat is a very courageous person.

Let us study some of the chief features of simile:

  • It is a wonderful tool that adds life to the thing that is compared and makes the description sound livelier.
  • Simile uses words ‘like’ and ‘as’ to compare two different things that are not easily relatable.
  • Similes help to create a bright picture of the subject to the reader by means of an apt comparison.
  • It attracts the attention of the readers more effectively than the common narrative style.
  • The comparison helps to describe the subject clearly and engage the mind of the reader in a better way.
  • Simile can be used in different types of writing formats but it is most commonly used in poetry.
  • Similes help to describe things that are sometimes difficult to be expressed in absence of an appropriate adjective.

How to Write a Simile?

We generally look for a simile when we think of alternative options for describing something other than conventional adjectives. In order to write a simile, we have write about a quality of thing that we want to describe.

Let us try this process with the help of an example:

Suppose we are trying to describe the voice of a girl which is very sweet.

Let’s try to find out about another thing tastes sweet.

We’ll take the example of honey and compare it with the girl’s voice by using ‘as’.

So, we can say the line ‘Her voice is as sweet as honey

Boy

Let’s read some common examples of simile:

  • As big as an elephant
  • As soft as velvet
  • As black as coal
  • As cunning as a fox
  • As sharp as a razor
  • As cool as ice
  • As hot as hell
  • As wise as an owl

Exception:

1. Sometimes a thing can be compared to more than one thing in different instances without losing the original significance.

Example:

Boy

In the above example to emphasize something with cooling effects on a body, it can be compared to either ice or cucumber. None of them are wrong.

2. Sometimes a simile cannot be written without ‘as’ or ‘like’ to compare between two different things.

Example:

My teacher is a volcano ready to explode.

Here the teacher’s rage is compared to the volcano’s explosion. This is an example of a simile.

Boy
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