Showing posts from May, 2015

Writing SF? Editing Out Metaphor

Sometimes editing is just like preparing to darn a knit. In the same way that it is necessary to choose the colour of threads to use for the needlework repair, it is also necessary to choose the 'colour' of imagery to use in specific genres.

And just like the obvious wrongness of the above threads for that repair job, I've been using figurative phrases of the wrong sort in my SF stories.

I've had three complaints about two different stories. Readers have been finding it difficult to visualise what was happening. Twice I explained the problem away. 
The third time I couldn't ignore it any longer. After some serious study over the weekend of a couple of my How-To sources, I discovered that my weakness for using metaphor is part of the problem, with metaphor being a way to add meaning, by describing something as though it is something else. 
In SF and Fantasy there can be no metaphor until the world is well set up, and readers are completely accustomed to the mode of…