Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hump Day Surprise: the Metaphor Rant

So it's after 11 o'clock on a Monday evening (yes, I know this is Wednesday -- just roll with it :-) ). I need to get up in six or so hours, and I'm WIDE awake. That has a little bit to do with our Scribblerati meet up tonight and that always winds me up some, but it has a lot more to do with the chocolate mocha thingy I so wisely chose to down at 7:30 PM.

Not my brightest move ever.

So here I am, my mind spinning with all sorts of things, but mostly with the fact that sometimes I hate writing fantasy. To be honest, it's more of a love/hate, like when people talk about their cat chewing up their computer power cord, or their kids throwing a tantrum in the grocery store. Yes, I do love fantasy, just like people love their cats and their kids, but there are times when it drives me crazy, like when I would love nothing more than to use one tiny little frakking metaphor.

I suppose most fantasy writers have this problem to some degree. For instance, you can't use commonly known metaphors like, ‘an electric feel,’ because there isn't electricity in most fantasies. My situation is even worse, and it's entirely of my own making. My story takes place on a completely different world and not even a world, but a moon where even the plants are different colors than they are here on earth. So, forest green? Can't use it. Saying the air has a spring-like feel? Can't use that either.

And it gets even crazier. Take “winds me up,” for example. That's a metaphor based on watches and clocks. Clocks could potentially exist in my world, but don't, and throwing that phrase into my world would adjust ring hollow.

Ring hollow… I think I could actually use that one….

So what is it that has me worked up tonight? “Pancake like leaves.”

It just so happens that the leaves on illiana trees look like pancakes. They do. They are round, flat, a little thick. Pancakes. But can I use that? Noooooooo. Because when I do, the ever insightful Scribblerati began to ask, “Do they make pancakes in your world? And if they do, would they really call them pancakes because nothing else in your world is named the same as it is here on earth.” To which my reply is, “What if I add a scene where they go out for brunch and order pancakes and goat cheese omelettes?”

Yah, that won't work.

Sigh. So back to the drawing board.

PS. I can't use drawing board either.


Anonymous said...

mmm pancakes

Jon said...

I'm telling ya'... "Flatcakes"