If you write long enough you will experience (hopefully often) the joy of that perfect sentence. That moment when the doors of inspiration open up, thoughts come together and manifest in your consciousness. They flow out from your fingertips like cloud to ground lightening, and burn across your manuscript. Oh, magnificent wonderment! What is it, you ask yourself? Where did that come from? You have no idea but you do know it is beautiful!
When the elation wears off and reality returns, you may be slapped with a thought or two.
One, (here enters self-delusion) what you’ve just written is the most perfect, poetic, graceful, well-constructed sentence you’ve ever written. You are in love with your creation. You think, who wouldn’t be?
Secondly, (here enters reality) and more to the point, it does not fit your work in progress (wip)—that beauty of a novel you’ve been pounding on for months. Doesn’t fit. Not anywhere. Not one word is actually applicable to the manuscript whereupon it landed; worse, it doesn’t fit any wip on your to-do list.
What to do with your beautiful creation, your darling sentence? As you ponder this dilemma, a whispered voice speaks to you with sobering advice:
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Dictionary definition: A’nal’o’gy (noun) 1. Comparison between two things that are similar in some way, often used to help explain something or make it easier to understand.
Sometimes bad analogies make us laugh, or perhaps cringe. Here are twelve really bad analogies originally attributed to school children.
- Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
- She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
- The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
- He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
- Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
- The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
- He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
- She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
- The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
- The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
- From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
- Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.