Novel Boot Camp #3: How Not to Suck at Similes

Portraits of Artists from Archives of American Art, Smithsonian InstitutionIf there’s one thing in a manuscript that can scream “amateur writer!” it’s a bad simile.

If you’ve forgotten what a simile is, it’s a comparison using “like” or “as.” For example: His beard was like cotton candy (see photo).

When done well, similes can paint vivid pictures in the minds of your readers. It can make them smile with pleasant memories, cringe in pain, or even gag in disgust. Similes can be a powerful little tool when done the right way in the right circumstances. Continue reading