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Unlocking Personification &
Transcript of Unlocking Personification &
The Larger View
In order to personify/use metaphor, you have to think like a poet.
Book Thief Examples
"The secret sat in her mouth. It made itself comfortable. It crossed its legs."
"The town was covered in a yellow mist that stroked the rooftops like pets. It filled up the streets like a bath."
"Held together by a quiet gathering of words." (mild personification)
"A sun like God sitting down after he'd eaten too much dinner."
**"Five hundred souls. I carried them in my fingers like suitcases. Or I'd throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms."
Unlocking Personification & Metaphor to Deepen
"Words are life and all those pages are
for you to fill."
Your job is to make people feel.
THINGS TO PERSONIFY
Everything . . . within reason.
Merging the literary with every story.
What is the point?
The point is to take what your character FEELS and put it outside of them. Portray it in the weather, the light, an object. Reflect their mood. Make your reader FEEL without them knowing why.
FIRE, FLAMES, SMOKE: reach, die, lick, glow, sputter, roar, consume, shrink, reach, simmer, twist . . .
Emotion: Anger, passion, hate, something out of control, being emotionally burned . . .
Emotions & How to Convert Them
Wind, Lovely Wind
THINGS WIND CAN DO: slide, touch, lift, rake, drag, push, pull, wail, moan, cry, sing, rush, rip, destroy, play, scatter, steal, bend, slap, dance . . .
PERSONIFICATION: The wind can have fingers, hands, a mouth, lips, voice . . .
ABSTRACT NOTION: love, fear, the comfort that your character longs for . . .
THINGS RAIN CAN DO:
fall, slash, drip, pour, flow, cascade, drain, drizzle, drop, flood, gush, flow, trickle, spit, seep . . .
Name the emotion your character has. Put
that emotion outside of them into
How do they feel? Angry? Sad? Conflicted? Put it in the rain.
Why am I writing this scene?
Does this scene propel my story forward?
What will the reader learn, feel, or experience?
What is the primary emotion or emotions in this scene?
Is there a story theme I can explore in this scene? Can I simply hint at the mood? Think of the scenery as another character.
Can I use a metaphor either spoken by a character or illustrated by an object?
. This can be another layer of foreshadowing. The placement of objects in a room should not be random.
If the emotion is harsh (anger, pain, rejection) the landscape, room, corners, light, etc., must also be harsh.
If it is a gentle emotion, focus on gentle words to describe your setting (flow, slide, bend . . .)
If the setting matches the emotion, your writing is working harder for you. The reader absorbs more than they know.
Don't forget about metaphors! Sometimes you can use something to mark the passing of an act/point of
Research has proven that colors affect us. Use this to your advantage.
A good book is not made up of what it says, but what it whispers.
What does your book whisper?
If you know your themes, it's easier to personify
and use metaphor.
Questions I Ask Myself: