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Figurative Language

EXERCISE 32 Cliché Paragraph

Now it’s time to try writing clichés—just this once. Write a paragraph of about 100 words on any topic, using as many clichés as possible. Use at least one cliché per sentence. Your objective is to make no original meaning whatsoever. Love and business make good topics. When you concentrate the clichés in a paragraph, you become a comic writer.

EXERCISE 33 Original Language

Now that you know what a cliché is, and you’ve read some original writing, it’s time for you to create original language. The following exercise is designed to help you develop your observational skills and produce original writing. Translating your observations into writing develops your sense of detail. Sit in a public place (bus, library, cof ee shop, a gym etc.) and write three short paragraphs: Paragraph 1: describe the actions of a person or people in that place Paragraph 2: describe how the place looks Paragraph 3: describe the sounds you hear in that place

Notice everything. Bring the place to life. Of course, do not use any clichés. Two additional restrictions: 1) do not use any forms of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were, been, being, including contractions such as it’s for it is or I’m for I am), and 2) write only in the active voice (no passives). These restrictions make writing dif cult, but in the process you’ll discover the level of detail required for good writing.

EXERCISE 34 Figurative Language

Approaches To get a feel for these techniques of f gurative language, you need to practise them. This exercise requires you to write a total of 10 sentences containing all f ve types of f gures of speech described above: • Write two sentences with metaphors not using like or as. • Write two sentences with similes. • Write two sentences with irony. • Write two sentences with overstatement. • Write two sentences with understatement.

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