[Write On Wednesday] Metaphor To Reality

Yesterday’s Reading Room story started out with magnificent metaphors and then flipped to a story about a suburban guy. It brought back the metaphor at the end.

It was an extreme example and tough to pull off (I’m still not sure it entirely worked), but today we’re going to try something similar.

The Prompt

Start a story with a vivid image and weave the metaphor throughout the story


  • You still have to make this story about a character. Think of something that matters to your character and create the metaphor/story imagery from that. (e.g. if your character gardens, all the metaphors could be horticultural)
  • You can weave the tie-in metaphors throughout the story or, like the Reading Room story, start with a vivid image and come back to it only at the end.
  • Try to dig deeply, and go beyond the obvious, clichéd metaphors. I worked with a reporter on a weekly newspaper who would open a file and think of all the puns and metaphors he could, on a particular topic, before he started writing an article. The top of every file he wrote was a groan-fest! Try creating your own list of imagery before you start to write, to help yourself push past the cliché.


4 thoughts on “[Write On Wednesday] Metaphor To Reality”

  1. Where to do we go from here?

    The pencil rushed across the handmade paper marking it with purpose. Most of the grains of graphite hung on to coarse surface. Some of them grasped at it unsuccessfully. They dived into space where their fate is uncertain.

    The artist looked hard at the stroke. It was the arch of her back. His eyes now rested on hers. She smiled.

    They had met each other only yesterday. They have not been apart since then. It all seemed so rushed. They spoke all day. They spoke all night. He remembers most of it. But some of it seemed lost.

    She had been married for fourteen long years. But she learnt of his affair the previous morning. She heard him begging for forgiveness even as she climbed into the car and raced off. The last word she thought she heard was bitch. She stepped on the gas pedal.

    The artist looked at his model. The pencil is held loosely in his finger. He is looking her hands. It holds a beautiful pose. He looked at her ring finger. It has a memory of a ring.

    He tears the paper of the easel in one motion. The paper came off in a flash. There is one piece that is stuck to the wooden drawing board. It slowly detaches itself and floats in the air. It does not know what will happen to it.

  2. From an on-going short story called “Jolly Rancher Dreams”

    Last night she dreamed she was swimming in a lake she knew as a child. Orange, green, blue, red layers lapped at her ankles drawing her in. She dove into the deep cave below. The water transformed into sticky masses of licorice and lollipops enveloping, including her into the mixture. She bathed in grape Jolly Ranchers, fed on Starbursts and breathed not water, but life-giving surges of Nerds.
    Anne had been here before, always with the same images. Alone she dove deep into the cave before coming to a passage that was always closed off. Each time, she had tried to gain entrance. The walls were tinted with spun sugar and the door was attached to a lock which no key had been found.
    But last night, something felt manipulated as though a stranger had invaded her fluid utopia. As always, Anne dove to the heart of the cave washed by a sugared rainbow to the blocked door. When she got there, however, a figure greeted her.

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