Tag Archives: Paig

Paying the Ferryman

It’s been a hectic old weekend. It feels like I’ve more or less been constantly on the move. First a series of train journeys before arriving in Essex, then a particularly long car journey to the midlands and a brief tangle with some slightly dodgy service station eggs. Then six hours or so of restless pacing around a living room, simply because sitting in one place for too long irks me in a seriously irrational manner. You’d think my knees would hate me for this, but they moan about everything and anything so it hardly makes a difference really. Another car journey followed, during which I manfully tried not to vomit, whether due to an encroaching case of motion sickness or the revenge of the aforementioned dodgy eggs I’m not sure. Then began an odyssey of rail replacement bus services and closed tubes lines before I finally, against all odds, found myself back home in Berkshire. And naturally at that point Banks’ Use of Weapons sank its claws into my arm like a particularly angry cat and demanded that I finish it. (Which I did, it is the third best book I’ve ever read, only narrowly loosing out on second place to The Lies of Locke Lamora) Needless to say not a lot of new writing has been done.

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Metaphorically Speaking

Not so long ago I read an article about tips for writers from published authors. The exact location of this article and it’s nearly all of its contents have faded into the obscurity of memory and is remembered only as half heard whispers on a wind of fact and misinformation. But one thing stuck in my head, something which continues to niggle at me whenever I start to type. The reason that this one solitary fact remains when all the rest have been culled is simply because I disagree with it so much. I disagree with it to the point that it actually makes me a little bit angry. Most of the tips I read I agreed with, already did or thought were actually quite nifty little ideas. I still forgot them, but that’s hardly the point. The offending tip in question simply stated that you should never use similes or metaphors. Not ever. Under any circumstances. Because these things are for amateurs; the plebeians of the writing world; the scum that you scrape from the bottom of your shoe. Now obviously, this author has been published so she must have some slight modicum of talent, but putting a blanket embargo on similes and metaphors? That struck me as one of the most awful suggestions I’ve ever heard.

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