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Creative Writing Metaphors

December 3, 2013

As poets/creative writers we are often searching for the right metaphor but I wonder how often we consider what metaphors we would use for the writing itself.
Judith Spelman’s interview of Natasha Solomon on pages 15 & 16 of December’s Writing Magazine contains some interesting writing metaphors. Natasha narrates an anecdote about a composer who thought of his writing as porcelain or fine china whereas another person thought of each draft as a paper plate. As a result he felt that he had more freedom of composition.
What metaphor would you use for your current writing project?
If you would like to explore this in more detail I recommend the following clean language coaching exercise:
Write each of the questions below on a piece of card, turn them face down, shuffle and select one. Repeat the process until you have considered all twelve. Go with the flow on this and try not to censor your answers. The aim is to seek better understanding of your creative writing project through the use of metaphor.
– What would you like to have happen?
– And what kind of X is that X?
– And is there anything else about X?
– And then what happens?
– And where is X?
– And that’s like what?
– And where would X have come from?
– And can X happen?
– And what needs to happen for X to happen?
– And is there a relationship between X and Y?
– And when X happens what happens to Y?
I have used these questions both as a coach and coachee and found that they produce some interesting insights (and oversights) when producing new work.
Carnival was my metaphor for Masquerade a fantasy poetry eBook which is currently free to download from www.smashwords.com . A selection box is my metaphor for a new poetry e-pamphlet due for release at Christmas.
Have fun and feel free to share your metaphors in the comments box.

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