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Note 203 – The use of similes in writing

According to Graham King in his book Collins Improve your Writing Skills, a simile “makes a direct comparison between two dissimilar things”, for example, as fit as a fiddle or as drunk as a skunk and similes are usually joined by the introductory words ‘as’, ‘like’, ‘as if’ or ‘as though’.  Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English calls them ‘figures of speech’ that can also be called clichés if they are overused.

So, should we use them in our writing?  The answer is it’s up to you, but although these phrases can sometimes make our writing seem a little tired, they can also liven up a poem or article when used well.

Here are a few similes used in sentences:

  • Sophie looked as snug as a bug in a rug in her new sleeping bag
  • I was as busy as a bee doing my chores this morning.
  • The film made her cry even though she’s usually as tough as old boots.
  • He was as happy as a lark when I picked him up from school.

If would like to see some more examples of similes – English Club have a great list.

I’m pleased to announce that my blog hits broke through the 4000 barrier in the early hours of this morning. I just want to express my thanks to all my dedicated followers and also to welcome any newcomers today.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance writer 
(For information on my services as a freelance writer as well as details of my book and other blogs).

This blog post forms part of My Writing Challenge
Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


6 thoughts on “Note 203 – The use of similes in writing

  1. Just found your website. A good idea. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about writing. Your approach is also good, but I notice you claim to have no time to write your passion for. I’m just reading a book which says not to get caught up in writing notebooks journal and if there were such a thing at the time of the book’s writing I am sure he would include blogs. He sees all these things as impediments to the writing. He would say write first before you blog. That’s what I do every day – writing first, blogging later.

    The book: The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop, Stephen Koch.

    Posted by arnie joseph bell | November 19, 2011, 10:44 pm
  2. Great reading. Some good ideas here. Glad that I’ve stumbled upon your blog. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Posted by redplace | November 20, 2011, 8:18 am


  1. Pingback: Note 204 – How metaphors are different to similes « My writing challenge - November 20, 2011

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