That horrible tornado was like a raging bull charging a red cape so it could blast everything we owned to smithereens once and for all.

Instructor Response

That horrible tornado was like a raging bull charging a red cape so it could blast everything we owned to smithereens once and for all.

 

You have a wonderful imagination.  To improve this sentence consider these three principles:
1. concrete rather than abstract
2. avoiding passive constructions whenever possible
3. accuracy of metaphor

“Horrible” is not specific. And it is a judgment by the writer, whereas the writer would prefer to have the reader be the judge. That is, let the reader decide if the damage reaches the level of “horrible.” So, if you make this more concrete, it could be more effective. What if you said: That tornado leveled trees, turned over vehicles, and killed four members of my family . . .  Then remove the passive verb “was” and substitute “rage.” That tornado leveled trees, turned over vehicles, and killed four members of my family as, like a bull, it raged and roared and assaulted our house and blasted everything we possessed to smithereens.  Note the change in the metaphor—the comparison of a bull charging a cape to a tornado doesn’t quite work, yet with concrete imagery the bull metaphor can be effective. 

The changes I suggest are examples to demonstrate the principles I stated.  Use your imagination and apply the principles to create something unique and impressive. Good work. You’ve got the gift!

Thanks for your submission!

WHC  

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© 2020 Literary Fiction Workshop