Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

Apprentice Writer grows ever more irritated by cliched similes and metaphors. She has been forced to endure far, far too many instances of garments "...fitting like a second skin" and men moving " a jungle cat". These kinds of descriptions are not only tedious, but inept as well since they can so easily be interpreted away from where the author wants to go. Frex:

Like a second skin could mean that the garment hangs in wrinkly, saggy folds. So if that's not what the author meant, s/he would have to write " like a second skin of someone not yet past their thirties and who hadn't lost a lot of weight suddenly and who didn't possess longlasting signs of childbirth across their abdomen". That would be more accurate but a little wordy.

Similarly, the description of moving " a jungle/large cat" always makes AW think "As opposed to a mountain/small cat, because everyone knows that jungle and large cats are silent and graceful whereas mountain and small cats are leadfooted klutzes."

What all this means is that AW is utterly delighted to come across a fresh new description. Bonus marks if it is funny. Allow her to present the quote of the day from Terry Pratchett's 'Going Postal':

"His beard looked like he'd been interrupted while eating a hedgehog."



Rachel said...

You put up the best quotes. I love them! One of my personal Pratchett favorites is this.

M. said...

Another excellent Pratchett quote! There are so many memorable ones from him that I could have filled the whole article I wrote about comedic writing for my local writing group's newsletter just with his stuff.

Rachel said...

Funny thing - I only find Pratchett quotable. I rarely get into his books. Pretty weird of me but true.