Metaphors?

Why do we use metaphors? We could just plainly state what we want to say or write. “He kissed the girl”

See, that wasn’t so hard. Now there is no confusion. But seriously, why do we use them. A metaphor could just become waste of space and ink in story, the bad ones at least. A good metaphor enhances events, or rather the description of them. If we take the example, “He kissed the girl” and add “like a mother kisses her child”, the kiss will be totally different.

We use metaphors to enhance a event/description/thingymajingy by calling upon a “common” source of knowledge. Another example: “His eyes, brown as a young doe’s, sparkled in the light”. So here I used a metaphor (or maybe it is a simile, not totally sure, English is hard sometimes) to describe the color of a person eyes. I could have written, light brown instead, but because I used “[…] as a young doe’s […]” I call upon a common source of knowledge. By common I mean knowledge that most people should know, just to clarify. A person who reads this will probably think that his eyes are very beautiful and maybe innocent looking, because of what we associate does with, now for another example, but this time of a “bad” metaphor.

“His eyes, brown as a cesspool, sparkled in the light”. If this was used to describe beautiful eyes… it failed miserably. It would probably be a bad metaphor to use in most situations when describing the color brown, unless of course you want a disgusting brown. Than it would be a good metaphor.

Why do I ask why we use metaphors? Because I think that you should question how things work, even if they are the right way to do something. ‘Cause if you do you might just learn something, like how metaphors work. Also I do it because I’m interested in storytelling and narrative and such fancy stuffs.

Enough of a detour, if we go back to the first example: “He kissed the girl”, this might seem like very plain thing to write. You could spice it up a notch or two by writing “He made love to her face with his orifice” or “He tasted her lips, warm with blood and sweet from cotton candy”. These two ways of writing “He kissed the girl” spice things up, creates some dynamic to the event and also sets a certain tone to the whole thing… and it is also the reason why “He kissed the girl” can be a very good way to describe the event. If for example, the story is from the “He’s” perspective and it just says: “He kissed the girl” and nothing more is added. It can give us readers something to think about and some smart depth. Was it so that he actually didn’t think the kiss was anything special, maybe he doesn’t love this girl that he kissed. That is the problem with writing, there is no right way to do things, how bothersome… well not really, but since no real “right or wrong” exist, how will you know that what you write is “right”? (Dunno, don’t care, give me more chocolate)

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