Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

The Artist's Road

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, wondering why when I sat down to write I didn’t immediately see how to tell my story in such a literary way. Metaphors, I learned, don’t have to spring directly from your head in the first draft like Athena from Zeus.

As it happens I didn't take a photo of the Haverhill, Massachusetts, Korean War Memorial. I did take a picture of this boot, one of many symbolizing the history of the town as a major shoe manufacturing location. During the revision process, all mention of this boot and Haverhill's history was excised, as it didn't advance the plot or character development. As it happens I didn’t take a photo of the Haverhill, Massachusetts, Korean War Memorial. I did take a picture of this boot, one of many symbolizing the history of the town as a major shoe manufacturing location. During the revision process, all mention of this boot and Haverhill’s history was excised, as it…

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