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14

A bad metaphor is like your 81-year-old Portuguese grandfather. Really, only close family members and people from that region can even understand him at all, and even then he's talking nonsense half the time, and he talks for far too long about things most people are unfamiliar with. A good metaphor is a lot like a mime - it neatly conveys the essence of ...


9

Myths and religions are "stories we already know." Adding references to known mythology in a contemporary story both grounds it to reality and connects it to our larger culture. Think about modern myths. If you have an ensemble action piece in a movie or a TV episode, for example, there's often a moment just before the climactic battle where five or six ...


6

Oy. Chop, chop, chop. You establish the metaphor of the treasure chest, so you can just declare that A=B without the transitions. The plastic container was a treasure chest of food. I peeked inside to admire its content. Under the store's lamp, the tiny eggs glistened like pearls. The red, white, and orange fish slices were edible jewels, the omelet ...


6

A good metaphor will parallel or easily invoke the idea you're trying to convey, without extraneous or irrelevant details. It resonates with the audience and may add to the core idea. A poor metaphor has baggage of its own, doesn't track with the original concept, is too clunky, too esoteric, needs too much explanation, or becomes absurd.


5

I noticed you said "movie critics" enjoy mythological references in a film, but do audiences? So you've asked, kind of a two-part question. For clarity, there are films that are based on mythology, like "Star Wars" and there are films that reference mythology like "Prometheus." It can be a fine line, but I believe the difference lies with whether the ...


5

Well, first off, it should be a metaphor, not a simile. :) Ahem... A great metaphor recasts the familiar or mundane as something strikingly different yet truly parallel. It gives a startlingly vivid picture or brings a surprising insight. A bad metaphor fails to achieve the parallel, or the fresh insight, or both. The element of surprise is an important ...


4

Yes, the metaphor is quite vivid and gets the point across maybe even a little too clearly: if you see the shadow, you do know there is a moth casting it. If you hear a story, you may still believe it's entirely made-up or a result of some confusion. Then, still, this would create the impression of the protagonist's conviction that yes, the stone is true and ...


3

Because mythology is the oldest form of storytelling, it resonates with our deepest selves, allowing us to explore the inner archetypal landscape of being human and our connection to divinity. It is our common language.


3

Maybe you are seeing it from the wrong point of view. More than mythology, movies like Matrix and Prometheus deal with our current social values and believes. Neo, the technological messiah, is ready to die to save humanity but under a very actual agnostic - almost atheistic - point of view since he is more than human but not divine. He is machine made ...


3

One thing you seem to be forgetting regarding myths, is they are extremely prevalent stories. I prefer to avoid the word "good" because, honestly, some of them are rather crap as stories, but they are definitely memorable. Proof? They survived. Think about Shakespeare. He certainly wasn't the only writer of 16th century. More likely there were thousands of ...


3

To quickly generate metaphors I grab my thesaurus and I find words that mean the same thing as the concept I'm trying to metaphorize. I tend to pick out words that do not sound at all similar despite having the same meaning. After I have a collection of words as a baseline, I write a sentence each to describe each of them. I pick the most illustrative ...


2

Quick and dirty way? Grab the nearest adjective describing given noun. Grab another noun described by that adjective. Find an adjective or another description that sets them apart. There, you have the metaphor. Glass - transparent - air - solid - solid air. Hand - limp - jelly - fingered - fingered jelly Bar - noisy - classroom - drinks and ...


1

Are we simply suggesting that any secretary will be irritated by late comers? If you are simply using the secretary as an analogy I am not sure it makes a lot of sense unless the secretary is relevant to the story...and "Like a secretary at closing time on Friday" is not really idiomatic...people can figure out the reference sure but not the same as icy ...


1

Hi: I laid out my notes to you per sentence from your revised paragraph. Opening the plastic container made me feel as though I were unlocking a treasure chest. I peeked inside to admired its content. To strengthen the connection between the object (container) and its symbol (chest), strip away as many mediating words as possible. "made me feel as though ...


1

The number of treasure-similies seems over-the-top to me, the prose equivalent of a scene from Tampopo. Maybe I would appreciate them better in the context of the rest of the story, or maybe I would appreciate them better if I liked sushi. :-) Your second version is definitely wrong. More verbs needed.


1

The other answers are good, but there's a whole dimension that hasn't been addressed (except by @FBRogers who got his darn post in before I had a chance to write this ;) ). Myths were (and, to a large extent, still are) mankind's way of coming to terms with the nature of reality - especially the parts that deal with emotions, our inner nature, and things ...



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