Similes are notorious for being unintentionally humorous or melodramatic. In this video I run through the most common reasons similes suck and then provide examples of bad similes from my childhood writing so you can see amateur similes in action.
Comment Question: Do you have any terrible similes from your own early writing?
Want to connect with other Novel Boot Camp Participants?
For more writing tips, follow or subscribe:
8 thoughts on “7 Common Reasons for Bad Similes [Novel Boot Camp 9]”
Really enjoy the new set up and quality of the new videos. Excellent stuff. You seem a touch looser in your style. It works well. (Not that it didn’t before.) Thanks for the hard work.
Thanks! I wanted to have a bit more fun with the videos. Writing advice can be boring sometimes!
You had me laughing so much that I had tears in my eyes-thanks Ellen! Best video yet!
I’m so glad you got a good laugh! I laughed for half a day when I first read the prairie dog simile!
I wish I still had some of my old writing – I’m sure there were some gems in there. Thanks for being brave and sharing yours!
This brought up a question for me – I tend not to use similes in my writing, and when I do, I often find myself editing them later and turning them into a metaphor. For example (and not a good example, I know), instead of writing “he deflated, his heart sinking like a lead balloon” I would edit it to be “he deflated, his heart turning to lead.” Is there any benefit or drawback to using metaphor over simile?
I’m not sure where my disdain for simile is coming from (probably an over-saturation of bad similes and a fear of purple writing) so I’m curious what the common views are regarding the two within the publishing industry.
Twelve year old you is adorable, Ellen. Excellent video, and your now-you reactions to your similes is too funny (laughing *with* yester-you, not *at*).
Thanks Ellen, they were great examples of “what not to do’s” Nevertheless they were very good for a twelve year old. What I would like to have heard is an example of your favourite simile.