Metaphors and similes are sometimes my friend and sometimes drive me bonkers.
In Star Trek IV the Voyage Home, the crew is approaching earth and smacks into the effects of a probe that is damaging the atmosphere. Bones hollers at Captain Kirk about where they are, and his response is, "We're out of control and blind as a bat." That metaphor is a much better response than a point on a star chart.
The second line of John Sandford's Deadline is, "D. Wayne Sharf slid across Winky Butterfield's pasture like a greased weasel headed for a chicken house." A good simile. You know you're dealing with a despicable character up to no good. A slimeball, perhaps.
But then there are authors who describe something and add a simile to the description. "Her deep blue eyes were like the North Atlantic Ocean on a cloudy day." Thank you, but I understood deep blue. More to the point, I have no idea when the North Atlantic Ocean looks like on a cloudy day.
Certainly, not all similes are irritating. Figurative language can add a lot to a story. But when you're reading a book and everything is compared to something else, it's irritating. More so if you are listening to a book.
I was about to cite a couple of authors, but I've chickened out. Who am I to question the writing style of people who sell lots more books than I do?
If you want to email me about the authors you think overuse similes or metaphors, I'll quote you in another blog post. 😆
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