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Creative Writing and Metaphors

Icy Tree
Posted in: Creativity | (Français) le25 September 2011

 

“Their relationship had begun to bud again, after a long and desolate winter.”

 

Poets have the gift of capturing moments and describing emotions beautifully by making use of metaphors. Take for example this metaphor describing the relationship between two people: “Their relationship had begun to bud again, after a long and desolate winter.”

 

To come up with such a beautiful metaphor, you must first understand the nature of the relationship. Then you have to think about something, completely different from the relationship, that can capture the meaning in an image.  In this metaphor, the poet projects the image of a bud opening after a long and desolate winter.

 

If you don’t know what a flower bud looks like, or you have no idea what a desolate winter is, it’s practically impossible to come up with such a metaphor. While analyzing the nature of the relationship with the analytical mind, the poet has to search through his imagination for something that will perfectly illustrate what he wants to describe. In other words, he analyzes the meaning with his left brain while stretching his imagination through his right brain to dig out the flower bud image.

 

When you read this metaphor, the first thing that comes to your mind is the picture of a bud opening after a long winter. The moment you picture this image, you clearly understand the nature of the relationship. Pictures are more powerful than words: they convey the message instantaneously.

 

If you want to write metaphorically, you have to think metaphorically. To think metaphorically, you have to think in images rather than words. It’s the right brain that is involved in metaphoric thinking, and you have to make use of it.

 

This process can happen instantaneously, in a flash. Some people don’t have to think deeply to create metaphors. Whenever they try to explain things, their brain automatically comes up with a particular image expressing perfectly the emotions and feelings they want to describe. Their right brain, responsible for metaphoric and analogical thinking, captures these images instantly.

 

Metaphoric thinking is not only important for creative writing, it is also the basis of creative thinking. In creative thinking, the brain processes information metaphorically.

 

To come up with a creative solution to a problem, you must first understand the nature of the problem. Then you have to look for solutions outside the box. You have to let your thoughts wander far away from the problem, through things that have nothing in common with one another, while always looking for similarities between them. The key is to make associations and find links between your problem and anything that comes to mind, no matter how remotely connected they may seem. Again it’s your right brain that has the capacity to make these associations through analogical and metaphoric thinking.

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