Writing with Figurative Language: A Guide to Relinquish Your Creativity

As young writers – or young people in general, we first encounter the figurative language definition, examples, and types in school. As part of our Basic English courses, figurative language is introduced to us. Yet, when most people hear these words, they often still ask, “What is figurative language?” Well, we assure you that by the end of this article, you will be informed or be reminded of the answer to that question. Alongside its definition, we are also gonna be seeing examples of figurative language and discussing the types of figurative language. Read on and discover how we can help you write and relinquish your creativity – and maybe in the end, you can even start your own blog!

Let’s start by defining figurative language as a tool that refers to the use of words and/or phrases beyond their literal meaning. Figurative language uses a combination of words that ultimately translates to a more creative, more colorful, and/or more complicated meaning and description. It involves using different types of literary devices and techniques. Some figurative language examples are:

  • As fragile as a flower
  • Words cut deeper than knives
  • Time runs fast
  • A mile-wide smile
  • Like the Garden of Eden
  • She stole his thunder
  • Serene Catastrophe

An example of a figurative language sentence is: “Strikingly makes building a website as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.”

It is most useful whenever we write blogs – especially personal blogs or fiction blogs. To learn more about when and how to use them, here are the different types of figurative language that can easily be used to elevate your writing.

Types of Figurative Language

Different sources would give you different numbers of the types of figurative language that you can use in writing different essays or blogs - a tool you can easily use so that your personal writing stands out. In this section, we would talk about seven of the most commonly used types of figurative language.

1. Simile

This figurative language compares two separate/dissimilar objects and/or concepts that are connected by the words “like” or “as”. It compares two things which result in a more graphic and more relatable description. The connecting words allow the reader to establish a sense of equivalency. It helps the reader to recognize what is being described in relation to what she knows to be true in reality.

To illustrate this, a song by Katy Perry uses a simile at the start of the song: “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind...” Since it is common knowledge how a plastic bag is so easily carried by the wind with no regard for direction, the use of simile here helps the readers visualize and imagine the feeling of helplessness/loss that the song wants to tell.

2. Metaphor

For metaphors, comparisons are done without connecting words used in simile. Instead, metaphors directly imply the likeness of two similar things. It compares an object to what can seem like a completely different and unrelated object. This kind of comparison is not meant to be taken literally, but rather figuratively.

An example would be that of a famous line from the DC superhero universe, Superman, which goes: “Lois Lane is his Kryptonite”. Superman is known as the Man of Steel - indestructible in many respects but is weakened completely by Kryptonite. The aforementioned figurative language sentence thereby implies that Lois Lane is Superman’s weakness - without directly saying it.

3. Personification

Personification is a type of figurative language that bestows a human feature, attribute, action, or feelings on an inanimate thing, an animal, a plant, or an idea. It allows writers to provoke the imagination of the readers. Giving these non-human characters the characteristics similar to humans allows the writers to bring more life to the story.

In a famous poem by Joyce Kilmer, she talks about a tree - and personifies it. He talks about a tree as if that tree was a woman, describing how “A tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray.” This allows the reader to relate more to the poem. It helps the reader connect better to the image that Kilmer wants them to see - the inexplicable beauty of a tree and its Creator.

4. Hyperbole

Hyperbole is a type of figurative language that greatly and intentionally exaggerates in order to emphasize or bring a sharpened effect to the point one is trying to make. It is usually used for a humorous effect, a strong emotional connection, or a serious point. These exaggerations are not meant to be taken literally - having “a million things to do today” doesn’t really mean a million tasks but rather meant to say a lot of tasks.

Another example of hyperbole can be seen in this Strikingly User’s banner image, “An ocean of needs”. This sentence is meant to emphasize how the needy require an amount of support so great that it can only be compared to the ocean. When people read this tagline of theirs, they can more easily imagine how much help is necessary, and maybe, they would be more inclined to help.

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Figurative Language and Imagery

Though connected with each other, figurative language and imagery have a huge difference. See, imagery describes how writers create a whole new world for their readers, and allow the audience to see what they are writing about through their eyes. Imagery refers to the readers’ experience of being transported into the universe of the literature. This is where figurative language comes into play. FIgurative language is the tool that writers use to achieve the said purpose. Figurative language helps them present simple and ordinary circumstances, emotions, or conditions in a more elegant, more impactful, and more effective way. And after this simple yet detailed guide on figurative language, I am fairly certain that you can do it too!

Usually, fiction writers have the most fun with figurative language - because figurative language greatly helps them project the right imagery. Strikingly User, Jeng (or Inksome Tiny) did exactly that! Let’s take a look at the wonder of their work!

Image taken from Strikingly User's Website

Image taken from Strikingly User’s Website

As we can see, this user showcases their artistic abilities in the art of drawing and in the art of poetry. It is fairly evident how they used figurative language in the narration of their story. And though fictional, reading their text gives you easy access to relate to the characters they are presenting to you. With the help of figurative language, the author easily transports you to the whole universe that she has created and allows you to wonder through it through the eyes of her characters.

There are a lot more sites you can visit that can inspire you to write and create your own. With your imagination and the beauty of figurative language at the palm of your hands, you can write and be the owner of your own blog website too! This will not only give you an avenue to collect your work in a single place, it can also be a way to introduce yourself and your amazing work to the rest of the world.

It’s simple and for someone already passionate about learning and writing, it’s easy peasy! (Hello, metaphors?)

Creating your own Strikingly Blog

STEP 1: Go to Strikingly.com and create your own account! It’s free and easy to sign up. Once logged in, Strikingly provides you with a wide array of templates to choose from. From thereon, it is fairly quick and easy to make the modifications you wish to make. Let your mind run wild in incorporating a design that will highlight your work - figurative language and all.

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Step 2: By adding a new section, or modifying a specific section, you just have to click on “Manage Blog Posts” and a new side menu will appear. Just click write a new post and go from there.

And if ever you have trouble navigating or understanding, Strikingly gladly offers help and support to make your experience more meaningful and purposeful. Strikingly even have assigned happiness officers to guide you through it!

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Image taken from Strikingly Product

Step 3: Write your heart out! Don’t think much about it, just write out your thoughts, or make an outline of what you want to write about, or research first and list them down. No matter what, believe in yourself and in your capabilities. You have the necessary tools at your disposal - your talent, your mind, your gadgets, figurative language, and Strikingly. Entering the writing industry is like entering the jungle - it can be scary and it can kill you, but remember that you are your own lion/lioness and even the trees may eventually dance to the sound of your roars.

Create a new universe with figurative language and showcase it by making your own website. With the right self-confidence - and Strikingly, you can share this universe with the world!