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Showing posts from December, 2014

Creating metaphors

Metaphor
A language figurative tool giving the object the additional characteristics, often used to reveal hidden features, feelings or emotions. Through a metaphor, an author shows us an object by depicting it and using a connection with something which is not, at first glance, similar. Metaphor is the art of poetry and writing, but also the part of everyday speech, and most of the idioms are metaphors. When a metaphor is used too often that the hidden message is lost, then it is called a dead metaphor and it is advisable not to use it in writing.

It is raining cats and dogs. Idiom and a dead metaphor.
The tv set in this room is an old dinosaur. Easy metaphor.
My soul was a lampless sea and she was the tempest. Hard metaphor.

Extended metaphor: when one idea is used in different perspectives or characteristics in a paragraph, the whole scene or a chapter.
My soul was a lampless sea and she was the tempest. Stormless days were rare, but we loved our boat. 

Mixed metaphor: when two different…

The premise of a novel based on the blurb

The blurb is what we usually may find on the back cover of a book, the short text informing the reader what is the book about and at the same time - trying to attract her or him, to grab their attention so that they will want to buy it.

There are other types of blurb - all are more or less just marketing texts trying to sell goods. Personally, I prefer a blurb depicting enough about the settings and the plot of a book to know what a book is about, what I may expect, but without disclosing too many details.

Too long a blurb with too many details puts me rather off the book, unless it is really a wonderful piece of writing. Another thing, alarming my suspicious, is the usage of too many super adjectives or adverbs, such as 'graspingly chilling' or 'splendidly crafted'.

The most tragic (sic!) outcome is when a literary critic writes a blurb: please try to read 'The list of the best sellers of 2014' in the New York Time and in the Independent. English is not my fir…

Noun clauses

A noun clause is a subordinate clause that acts as a noun or pronoun and answers a question who or what. A noun clause can be introduced by either a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. Sometimes the relative pronoun is dropped.

Noun clause as a subject
What I think is none of your business.
Whatever you want to do after lunch is fine with me.

Noun clause as a direct object
Peter asked if he could borrow a car.
It is not absolutely sure whether he takes part in a competition or not.

Noun clause as an indirect object
Peter promised an award whoever finds his missing cat.
Jane sent a kiss that man in a front row.

Noun clause as a predicate nominative
Love is all what people need.
The good thing was that they did not have to do it again.

Noun clause as an object of a preposition
I am interested in what we are going to do with it.
He wrote a book about what he had found during his trips.

Noun clause as an object complement
They named him whatever they call the president in that count…

The Elliptical Adverb Clauses

Adverbial clauses, as well as other adverbials, answers the questions: where? when? to what degree? under what condition? why? how? They usually start with subordinating conjunctions.

Let's look at the sentence that Susan Hill wrote in 'Woman in Black':

As I crossed the long entrance hall of Monk’s Piece on my way from the dining room, where we had just enjoyed the first of the happy, festive meals,towards the drawing room and the fire around which my family were now assembled,I pausedand then, as I often do in the course of an evening, went to the front door, opened it and stepped outside.

As I crossed the long entrance hall of Monk’s Piece on my way from the dining roomtowards the drawing room and the fire // adverbial clause (when? under which condition?)

around which my family were now assembled // adjectival clause (what kind of room?)

where we had just enjoyed the first of the happy, festive meals // adjectival clause (what kind of room, at which room?)

I paused // and th…

An adverbial clause 1

An adverbial clause is a subordinate clause starting with a subordinating conjunction. To understand the role of the adverbial clause we need to understand the role of adverbs in a sentence.

So, an adverb modifies verbs, adjectives, other adverbs or part of a sentence (phrase) or  another clause or the whole sentence.

I will do it tomorrow. // adverb

I will do it as soon as you stop nagging me about it. // adverbial clause

An adverb, adverbial phrase or adverbial clause function as adjuncts (adverbials) in a sentence and may be removed from it and the rest of the sentence still stays grammatically correct sentence.

I will do it! (an independent clause - a sentence)

The most common subordinating conjunctions are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever,whether, and while.

Most adverbial clauses can come before or after the main clause, and embedded adverbial clauses are rare (other than t…