5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part IV by Deborah DeCiantis

TIP#4 Recognize valid situations where literal and metaphorical meanings co-exist. Statements may have both literal and metaphorical meanings without being ambiguous, equivocal, or contradictory. Acronyms and acrostics, homonyms and antonyms, sound devices like alliteration and rhyme, humor, and even puns, function as literal content and also as helpful memory aids. Today’s icons, emoticons, GIFs, and…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Metaphorical Language, Part III by Deborah DeCiantis

  TIP #3 Don’t avoid tough literal situations by referring to them only as metaphors. Taking literal language metaphorically is equally problematic.                         Kids can be masters of metaphor. Ask “Didn’t I tell you not to play in the mud?” and they answer, “We weren’t playing, we were making a snack for the frogs.” One child,…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Figurative Language Part II by Deborah DeCiantis

  TIP #2 Don’t interpret literally what is supposed to be understood metaphorically. Taking figurative language literally is a problem that leads to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Does the photo above depict sunshine or shadow? A literal book title based on this image might be Sunshine on the Pages or Shadows on the Pages [When Grandpa Reads]. A nonfiction…

5 Tips for Using and Understanding Literal and Figurative Language Part I

Tip #1: Use clear definitions and illustrations to distinguish literal from metaphorical. For writers and readers alike, understanding the terms literal and figurative (metaphorical) is essential: what do they actually mean? And how can we distinguish the way language is being used, whether in conversation, on social media, in literature, in advertisements, in business documents,…

Classic Keys for Writing for Children

If you’re like me, you probably have bookshelves crammed with books. Too many to keep and too precious to give away. As I look through my bookcases, I enjoy finding a long-forgotten treasure. Even better, on occasion I’ll make a new discovery—a book that made it onto the shelf without being read. I recently came…

Author Interviews III: Sandy Carlson’s First Self-Publishing Experience

Author Sandy Carlson was born in Michigan, lived in six other states, and now resides in Michigan again. A former elementary teacher, Carlson is a blogger and a long-time member of SCBWI. She's published in magazines, e-zines, newspapers, and anthologies, in addition to being the author of historical fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction books. Today, she writes,…

Pilgrim’s Progress theme Part III

Write2Ignite Conference 2018 theme series---by Deborah S. DeCiantis  After his escape from the Slough of Despond, Christian meets Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, who convinces him that an easier way to get rid of his burden is to turn aside from the path to the Wicket Gate and instead climb the hill to meet Legality and Civility. Christian…

More Than Just the Facts, Ma’am

When you think about writing for children, you might picture stacks of picture books or a shelf full of novels. But did you know there's a large nonfiction market as well? In my workshop session "More Than Just the Facts, Ma'am," I'm going to introduce you to the world of children's nonfiction and educational publishing. There’s…

Let the Little Children Come

We're naturally drawn to the power of a good story. It starts at a young age, doesn’t it? Jack and Jill and other nursery rhymes. Aesop’s Fables and fairy tales. Frights around a campfire and happily-ever-after bedtime stories. Jesus understood the power of a story. He spoke truth, then illustrated it with parables---earthly stories with…

Ten Things NOT to Do When Writing a Picture Book

Do you have a picture book in the works? If so, you know picture books are a lot harder to write than most people think. Whether you’re just starting to write your manuscript or are in the final stages of revision, here are some things not to do: Don't write down to children. Children are…

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