Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome our Guest Winnie Griggs

Hello all of you wonderful folks in Seekerville.  I’m so excited to be back here again.  Today I want to talk a little bit about the use of Imagery in your writing.  First, a quick unofficial definition:  Imagery is the use of descriptive or figurative language to evoke a mental picture of the scene, action or emotion being depicted.

It’s more than simple description, it’s a tool that helps the writer paint vivid pictures that fire the reader’s imagination, that gives them new ways to look at whatever it is that’s being described.  Painting those fresh word pictures is key to creating fiction that resonates.  In other words imagery helps the writer say things in a way that touches the reader more effectively than a literal description would.  Because, by the act of their need to read between the lines and make the necessary translations and connections, however slight, readers become more involved and more engaged in the story.

Let’s talk about some of those methods.

Metaphors and Similes

These are probably the most common types of figurative language we use.  While similar, metaphors and similes are not the same thing.  A simile takes two distinctly different items and compares them using words such as ‘like’ and ‘as’.  A metaphor also compares two essentially different things but in a more subtle way.  It doesn’t announce the comparison by using comparative language but rather uses the items being compared  interchangeably, implying that they actually are the same. 

Let’s use an example to illustrate: 

The dandelion fluff scattered in the wind like a troupe of graceful dancers  (simile)

The gust of wind awakened the drowsing bits of dandelion fluff, scattering them from their hammocks to gracefully dance across the meadow.  (Metaphor)

In these examples, dandelion fluff is being compared to dancers.  The difference is, in the first example you are being explicitly told that this is a comparison and in the second you are implying it by giving the dandelion fluff the characteristics of a dancer.  There is a place for both constructs in your writing.


An analogy is very similar to a metaphor or simile, in that it makes comparisons.  In fact, analogies normally employ similes and metaphors.  The main difference is that an analogy is used to do more than describe, it is used to explain or convince. 

For example, Sydney Harris, states:   Pupils are more like oysters than sausages. The job of teaching is not to stuff them and then seal them up, but to help them open and reveal the riches within. There are pearls in each of us, if only we knew how to cultivate them with ardor and persistence.

Another example, this one from Mark Twain:  “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and a lightening bug.


A zeugma is another comparative technique, and is one of my favorites.  It is much rarer than the others we’ve discussed but when done well it can be quite effective.  A zeugma is a word that is used to modify or govern two individual words or phrases, but each in a different way.

It sounds complicated but here is a fairly simple example:  Working beside my grandmother in her garden that summer wore holes in the knees of my jeans, and in my heart.

In the matter of the jeans we are, of course, referring to actual holes.  In the case of the heart, however, we are using the word more figuratively.


Symbolism is another great way to add the power of imagery to your work.  Symbolism is the use of some object or action to represent an idea, emotion or other abstract quality.  It’s a kind of shorthand.  If you show a motorist an octagonal red sign, even if there is no lettering on it, he knows he is supposed to stop.  If a parking space has a stylized image of a person seated in a wheelchair, drivers know that it is reserved for handicap access vehicle parking.  These are symbols.        

In literature, there are two types of symbols - universally understood symbols and author created symbols.

Universally understood symbols are those that convey meaning either by their very nature or by their context.     One of my favorite examples of this is from the movie Notting Hill.  There’s a scene in the movie where the Hugh Grant character is trying to get over the blow up of his relationship with the Julia Roberts character, and we see him walking through the market in a scene that takes up only about 2-3 minutes of actual screen time.  but during this walk, without the use of any dialogue, we see background characters and weather elements flow seamlessly through changes in such a way that by the end of his stroll we know an entire year has passed in his  world.  And this was done entirely with a shorthand that we as viewers instinctively understood.

There are lots of these kinds of symbols out there - road signs, storms, falling leaves, howling wind, flowers in bloom, shooting stars, new dawns and sunsets, and oh so many more - they are all around us, all have meaning to our readers and all can be used in a number of ways to signify different things.  For instance, depending on your story’s theme and context, a reference to falling leaves can conjure images of the inevitability of death, or it can signal that holiday time is drawing near, or for the less astute reader, it can mean nothing more than that it is autumn.  And it can do this without any overt reference to any of those things.

Then there are the symbols that are author created.  Something you give significance and meaning to in a way that it then becomes shorthand for that meaning throughout your story. 

For instance, in page one of my book What Matters Most you’ll find this passage:

Her sweet, curious, intelligent little boy - he was so precious to her.  Now that her own mother was gone, he was all she had that truly mattered.

Lucy’s smile faltered at that reminder of her loss, and she pressed a hand lightly against her bodice, comforted by the feel of her mother’s locket, cool against her skin. 

From that point on in the story, whenever Lucy touches that locket, which she does often, the reader should have a sense of what she’s feeling without me having to elaborate

You should be subtle about your use of symbols, even the more obvious ones.  And never, ever explain a symbol to your readers.  If you’ve done your job properly, then perceptive readers will ‘get it’ either on a conscious or subconscious level.  If less perceptive readers only see it for its face value, then so be it. 

Some DOs and DON’Ts on imagery

Strive for originality

When crafting your images - avoid clichés like the plague!  There are exceptions of course, but for the most part you want to give your reader fresh imagery to fire their imagination.  Find new ways to say ‘cold as ice’  or ‘fresh as a daisy’.

Here are some snippets pulled from my Nov 2010 book, The Christmas Journey

Feeling as frustrated as a frisky dog on a short leash.

Relief washed through her in giddy waves.

She was still madder than a dunked cat

Use the mood and setting of your book to create the palette you draw your images from

Is your book a gothic set in the Victorian period?  Much of your imagery should have a dark, heavy, ominous feel - storms, darkness, forests, rock, thorns, scavenger animals

On the other hand, if your story is a light-hearted romp set in small town America, your imagery might be drawn from things like sunshine, spring, flowers, songbirds, domesticated animals

Here are some snippets pulled from my Nov 2010 book, The Christmas Journey, which is a western

Otis glanced her way and the ugly smile he flashed sent alarm skittering up her spine like a frightened centipede.

Otis and Clete lounged outside the saloon, all but licking their chops, nudging each other like a pair of weasels who’d spied a way into the chicken coop.

Mr. Lassiter’s well-being was more important than getting vengeance on that bucket of pond scum.

Keep your imagery focused.

Don’t make it a multiple choice issue for your reader. 

For example:  He was as forceful as a locomotive barreling down the tracks, or as a tornado swirling across the plains.    Not good - pick one!

Also, make sure you use an image we can grasp.

The sentence - He was as effective as Daedalus in teaching caution to his son  won’t evoke an image for the reader if they don’t know who Daedalus was.

Surprise Your Reader With The Unexpected

When you are trying to describe a woman’s lips, a skilled writer will naturally reach for something other than red as rubies or cherries.  But suppose you take it in an entirely different direction - say red and puffy as an inflamed blister or that they matched her bloodshot eyes?  It might make your reader squirm a bit, but it’ll definitely paint a memorable picture, and depending on what you’re going for, it could work.

Some Final Thoughts

You obviously don’t want or need to overload your story with imagery and symbolism.  As with any technique, overuse can result in reader dissatisfaction or a dilution of impact.  So sometimes you will simply want to describe a scene or emotion very literally.  The key is to know when and how to use these tools to create the most enjoyable experience for your reader.

Figurative language is a powerful tool for your literary arsenal and one you shouldn’t be afraid to play with.  When properly wielded it can transform and elevate your writing.

So do you have some favorite examples of imagery from books or movies that you’d like to share?  Is so, please post them for us. 

And as added incentive, I’m planning to give away a signed copy of A Baby Between Them to one person who leaves a comment to this post today.

A Baby Between Them -- For two months, Nora Murphy has cared for the abandoned infant she found on their Boston-bound ship.  Settled now in Faith Glen, Nora tells herself she’s happy.  She has little Grace, and a good job as housekeeper to Sheriff Cameron Long.  She doesn’t need anything more - not the big family she always wanted, or Cam’s love...A traumatic childhood closed Cam off to any dreams of family life.  Yet somehow his lovely housekeeper and her child have opened his heart again.  When the unthinkable occurs, it will take all their faith to reach a new future together.

Winnie Griggs
Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace

Home For Thanksgiving
, Oct. 2011
A Baby Between Them, June 2012
Handpicked Husband, Sept 2012



Vince said...

Hi Winnie:

I like it when an author uses nature and/or the landscape to mirror the events going on in the characters’ lives.

In “Autumn Rains” by Myra Johnson, nature plays a strong mirroring role as a counterpoint to the story line. At least this is my view. I wrote the below after reading the book:

”The title of the book “Autumn Rains” is significant. The author uses natural events,(in this case, the oppressive heat lingering well into the fall season) to mirror the conflicts going on in the characters’ lives.

When the autumn rains finally arrive, to end the emotional pressure-cooker of the seemingly endless summer, the characters are ready to simultaneously experience a catharsis of their own. These simultaneous events come at the end of a book-long buildup. This is very powerful writing.”

The techniques you’ve written about can greatly enhance the ‘reading experience’ for those readers who appreciate the author’s efforts. I love it when an author puts this much work into her stories.

BTW: I’m sure I remember you doing many of these techniques in your story about the bell choir. I can still remember the pleasure I derived from reading that story.


Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

Connie Queen said...

A Baby Between Them sounds fantastic. And I love the cover.

Using the techniques you discuss should be fun and say a lot about the character w/out having to say it.


KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Good morning Winnie,


You help make us smart!!!

Thank you for this post. Good info!!!

Your book looks wonderful. Thanks for offering it as a prize!

Coffee and tea available in the back. And No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with just a little extra cinnamon and vanilla.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Winnie, I am a big simile and metaphor junkie but I am with K.C.... along came "zeugma". Wow. Thanks too for the reminder not to play a, b, or c with the reader. I have such trouble picking what to use I tend to throw in everything.

I also appreciate your advice not to use the obvious. Emma Coats, writer for Pixar, says not to use your first several choices when writing but to surprise yourself. That works in so many situations.

Loved A Baby Between Them. You did a fine job bringing that trilogy to a close and happiness to Nora!

Peace and thanks, Julie

Ausjenny said...

Hi Winnie,
I can never work out which is which with similies etc.
never heard of zeugma before.

Don't enter me as I have this book on preorder.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the reminder of all the tools we can use to make our story stronger.
There was even one I'd never heard of. Not sure what that says about me as a writer. Ha!
Thanks again!
Jackie L.

Rose said...

Excellent examples, Winnie, thanks for sharing.

And I LOVE the cover of your new release.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning Winnie,

Welcome to Seekerville. I know you'll enjoy your day here.

We are on the road this morning so I will be back to visit more with you later. We met at Desert Dreams last April. I was the one who introduced you and Michelle for your wonderful presentation.

Thanks for posting with us today. Have fun.

Debra E. Marvin said...

My new favorite might just be the zeugma -- and okay it's because it is the most pleasant of words to play with in your mouth.

Wonderful post, Winnie! Thank you.

Jeanne T said...

Winnie, I so enjoyed your post. I am still learning how to bring in more symbolism and metaphors into my writing. And zeugma. Love it! I may do that every now and then, but I think this is one I want to work on.

A question: is there a general rule/suggestion for how often to use these writing "devices" in our stories? Every scene? Chapter? Just wondering. :)

I sometimes like to play with paraprosdokians, where you put a twist on some cliches. :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Good morning everyone!

Vince, thanks for the kind words about The Heart's Song. As my one and only attempt (so far) at a contemporary, it does my heart good to hear from someone who not only enjoyed it but found it memorable.

Winnie Griggs said...

Connie Queen - yes LIH did a fabulous job with the cover - it has to be one of my all time favorites!

KC Frantzen - glad you enjoyed the post, and those cookies sound fantastic! I'll definitely be grabbing a couple!

Winnie Griggs said...

Julie - zeugmas are fun aren't they? And thanks so much for your enthusiasm over ABBT!!

Ausjenny - hello! glad you enjoyed the post.

Winnie Griggs said...

Jackie - hi! I bet I can guess which one you're referring to . And I've only just learned the name given to this technique recently myself.

Rose - you are absolutely welcome!

Winnie Griggs said...

Sandra - thanks for the welcome. And I remember that intro - good to 'see' you again. Hope you have a safe trip

Debra - glad I could introduce you to the zeugma!

Winnie Griggs said...

Jeanne T - I've never heard of any rule about the frequency fo use for these techniques, and it's not something I've ever considered before. I'd just say overuse is almost as bad as underuse. You don't want to weary your reader or run into the danger of starting to read like purple prose. And ok, yiou've taught me a new word today - I must go look up paraprodokians!

Audra Harders said...

Hi Winnie,

Thanks for the wonderful, powerful post on imagery. You made so many valid points, I'll have to print off this post and reread it whenever I'm feeling mundane in my writing!!

I loved the Hugh Grant example. Timing passing needs to be protrayed well or your reader will just slug along waiting to get to the good stuff. The seasons passing was a great example!

Good, good stuff here!

CaraG said...

Well, I feel a little better about not knowing what zeugma meant after reading all the posts thus far. And what a powerful technique. It hits the heart, doesn't it?

It's time for another trip to the bookstore for me (more fun than ordering and I always come out with more books than intended). I look forward to reading your work.

Clari Dees said...

Similes, metaphors and...huh? Say what? I just learned a new word today. Zuegma! I've seen examples of it many times, but I didn't know that type of sentence/phrase had a name. Thanks!

And I love paraprosdokians, too. (another fun word to say) Here's the wikipedia link for what it is. The examples made me laugh out loud this morning. :-)


Oh, and I loved this post because somewhere in the last year or so, I read some author's opinion who said you should stay away from similes and metaphors when writing. That made me as happy as a cat getting a bath. Rebellious soul that I am, I used 'em anyway! :-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Winnie, you need to be teaching classes online, at ACFW and RWA.

Of course you have to keep writing both contemporary and historicals too.

Possibly clone yourself.

This was a terrific post!!

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Similies and metaphors are so hard for me but I love tgo read a good one. Thanks for a great blog.

Janet Dean said...

Winnie, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for the fabulous tips on adding imagery to our stories. I look forward to your visits as I know you'll have something valuable to share. It isn't easy to find fresh ways to create emotion and connection to the reader. The examples from your books are terrific!

A Baby Between Them sounds like a wonderful story. Can't wait to read it! Love the cover, too.


Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Audra - glad you enjoyed the post. And yes, I love that Notting Hill example because I believe it was so wonderfully and evocatively done!

Winnie Griggs said...

CaraG - I'm with you, nothing beats a visit to a real, live bookstore!

Clari Dees - I firmly believe that metaphors and similes are not only okay to use but can enhance a work - the trick it=s ti not overuse them or to fall back on cliches

Winnie Griggs said...

Tina - LOL, thanks but I don't think the world is ready for two of me!

Janet, thanks! I always look forward to my visits here - this is suxh a great community of writers and readers!!

Mary Connealy said...

I love this blog, Winnie. I'd never even heard the word zeugma before. In fact I copied it and pasted it here so I could spell it correctly!

I think I use a zeugma but I never had a word for it. Thanks

Marianne said...

i am a reader, not a writer, except on my blog reviewing books. Why would i even think of writing a novel when there are such awesome writers out there all ready, writing for my enjoyment? However, having said that, i do read the blogs written for writers, cause i can often use those ideas when explaining the novel in my review. i hope my readers appreciate it. Thanks for the opportunity to win

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Winnie!

Thank you for the great post - I love using imagery in writing. Quite often the analogies or metaphors will come from my subconscious when I'm writing the first draft, and then if I like it I'll use it throughout the story.

Of course, if I don't like it or it doesn't work, I hit the delete button :)

My favorite use of imagery in literature is in Tolkien's writing. He weaves it into his writing so effortlessly that it takes some work to identify it when you're reading. That's the kind that rings deep inside the reader's soul...

I'd love to win your book!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Mary! Glad I could teach you something - it's usually the other way around!

Marianne - hello! glad you enjoyed the post and it's so cool that you try to get into the strange mind of us sometimes-wierd writers

Vince said...


“A zeugma is just a double entendre that couldn’t keep a secret.”


Winnie Griggs said...

Jan Drexler - you're right, Tolkien was a master at this - his work was so rich and lush and a pure joy to read.

Nancy C said...

Zeugma -- a new word for my vocabulary. Thank you.

I have so many notes in books where I came across a particularly strong use of metaphor, simile, etc. One I can easily recall is from "Tumbleweed," a book about Virgil Earp's wife. The line is in the simple direct words of her vocabulary: "Times like this I miss Virge so bad it hurts like my bones are broken."

A question: When a simile, metaphor, zeugma, etc. stops a reader in their tracks to admire the way it's presented ... is that slowing the pace?

Thanks for a super post, Winnie!

Nancy C

Julie Lessman said...

HOLY COW, WINNIE ... THIS IS OUTSTANDING!!!! A definite keeper to be printed off -- THANK YOU!!

And, WHOA, WINNIE ... I didn't even know what a "zeugma" was, but I sure use them all the time!! :)

I love trying to come up with new imagery, but it's not easy for me because I have such a comfort level with cliches, I guess because they feel comfortable and familiar since I've heard them all my life. So what I try to do is use cliches to my advantage by taking one and changing it up a bit. For instance, in A Passion Redeemed, I took the cliche "feast or famine" and changed it to:

A woman who was a feast to his eyes but a drought to his soul.

And in the same book, I took the cliche "the pot calling the kettle black" to "the lush calling the sot tipsy."

Thanks for a GREAT blog, Winnie -- it's a winner! ;)


Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a great story, thank you for offering the book as a giveaway.


Andrea Strong said...

I just love imagery. Those word pictures are what brings stories to life.

I remember Audra using some wonderful imagery in Rocky Mountain Hero. I'm currently trying to find my review of that book, so I can get it just right...


“A dripping T-shirt encased her slender frame like shrink wrap around a gasket” (pg. 13) The simile here lends an innocence that is missing from the typical “wet t-shirt” description. Only a man's man would think of auto parts at a time like that. I think it’s brilliant.

“…blue eyes the color of mountain columbines in full bloom and lashes as thick as the foxtails that grew around them” (pg. 11). Is he a marshmallow under all that cowboy, or what?

“Skin as soft as the belly of a new born foal…” (pg. 22) I’m thinking “cowboy poet” here. This might be the "rancher's twist" on the well-used "baby's bottom" cliche.

Another one I love is in Arlene James's Chatam House series. The "Aunties" as they are known (Maiden triplets in their 70s, who own and reside in the family's historic mansion home) are three distinct personalities. My favorite part of the descriptions is their hair. One is silver, one is steel gray, and one is pure white and fluffy like whipped cream. These descriptions lend so much to the reader's interpretation of each woman's personality.

Great post, Winnie! I love to be entered for A Baby Between Them

andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

Winnie Griggs said...

Vince - love it! wherever did you find that definition!

Nancy C - The answer is - it depends . If the phrase is there just for the sake of pretty prose and doesn't really add to the reader's investment in the story, then yes. But if it heightens the readers immersion in the story world, by deepening their understanding of the underlying theme, then I thin the writer is doing the story a service. Does that make sense?

Winnie Griggs said...

Julie - wow those are great examples you pulled from your writing!! Do you mind if I borrow them for when I present a workshop on this topic?

Nancy C said...

Good points, Winnie, thank you! And thanks for an outstanding post.

Nancy C

Winnie Griggs said...

Wendy - you're quite welcome!

Audra - those are all great examples and I can see why they stuck with you. Thanks for sharing!

DebH said...

wow. i added two words to my vocabulary today - zuegma and paraprosdokians. what a fine day.

i absolutely LOVE your book cove and would enjoy a chance to win it (otherwise, it hits the ever growing list of must buys...)
nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

Winnie Griggs said...

Nancy C., you're quite welcome.

DebH. - Glad you enjoyed the post, and good luck in the drawing!

Carol Moncado said...


Love it!!!

What a great post!!!

I'd love to be entered in the drawing :).

Myra Johnson said...

Very nice, Winnie! And I learned a new word!


How would you pronounce that, exactly?

I know I've used this before. Nice to finally know what it's called!

And Vince!!!! What's the first thing I see when I open the comments? There you are, talking about my novel Autumn Rains! You are so sweet!

llmarmalade said...

Here is something I am going to add to my current WIP. I love imagery and one of my favorite authors P. D. James uses it so well I am jealous.
"Should I stop reading, Sir," Elsie asked. He was gazing at her with such a fixed stare that she had the disconcerting feeling that he could see her thoughts as plainly as if they were displayed in a shop window.
"Is my reading so terrible that instead of putting you to sleep it does the reverse?" she added almost playfully.
"No, it sounds like a mathematical formula set to music."
She could see that he was watching her for a reaction to the statement. There was one, for the rosy color and quickly suppressed smile, was like a fleeting glimpse of red in a sunset over the ocean. So Miss Lang was not so impervious to flattery or emotion as she appeared.


Mary Connealy said...

In my Sophie's Daughters Trilogy, in the three books, I gave each of the heroines a tiny gesture that I used to define all of them.
Beth, the doctor, tended to touch herself on the wrist, taking her own pulse and she did it to other people, too, just an unconsious habit.
Sally, the wrangler, rubbed on the little silk bow she kept pinned inside her clothes on her chemise. She was hiding the fact that she loved girly things.
Mandy, the sharpshooter, had a tiny callus on her index finger that had been formed by pulling a trigger over and over. She rubbed that callus subconsciously when she was angry, mainly, thinking about shooting. But also that callus worried her because she felt like it was too easy to pull the trigger and she was afraid of the hard place in her heart that almost enjoyed it.

Mary Connealy said...

I love using weather to set a mood, lightning and thunder.

Bitter cold.

Light breezes carrying the scent of the season.

Mary Connealy said...

Andrea, that's from Audra's book? Like shrink wrap on a gasket? LOL I love it.

It made me think of one of mine that I always particularly loved.

His smile shrunk like cheap plastic wrap in a microwave.

I also use, in the historicals, his smile shrunk like wool longjohns in boiling lye water.

Fun. I suppose we all do that all the time but it's hard to remember them.

Eileen said...

Winnie: OK..OK. So, I did see my heart in the first three pages and will work on getting them out! Quit screaming at me already...Seriously great stuff in there. I even printed it up for future reference. The best author ever for effectively usually all the methods of illusion is Robert Frost. Who can forget "I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference," or "I have been one acquainted with the night." or my favorite, Birches. Have to go re-read him. Thanks again.

Jamie Adams said...

Great post! I'm jumping on the zeugma band wagon, only I need to figure out how to say it.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, I stopped in this morning with five comments and got snagged by a host of small children with foot hand and mouth virus...

Poor babies!

So my day has been snuggling, feeding ice pops and soothing frazzled nerves...

Oh and I was nice to their sick little kids, too!!! (hahahaha)

Anyway, I just love me some Winnie Griggs! I just sent one of your books to a contest winner in Seekerville because good readin' is good readin', Sistah!

And I need this post. I tend to grasp the same sayings, euphemisms, similes, etc.

Gotta freshen up the act and this was just the ticket! (Now that's down home old lady talk for ya'!)

Thanks for hangin' with us today! Now I'm going to read comments and go clean. Doing laundry now, stripping beds... cribs... towels. Tide and bleach, Tide and bleach, ...

Winnie Griggs said...

Carol - glad you enjoyed the post and your name is definitely in the hat for the drawing!

Myra (and all others who are interested) zeugma is pronounced zoog-muh (the double o's have the same sound as in zoo). It's almost as much fun to say as to use :)

Winnie Griggs said...

llmarmalade - ooooh, another great example - thanks for sharing!!

Mary - you know I love your writing girl, and those examples are just some of the reasons why

Winnie Griggs said...

Eileen - LOL, I'm not screaming at you - promise (could that possibly be your conscience?). And I absolutely love Robert Frost - if ONLY I had half his talent when it comes to evocative imagery...

Jamie - glad you liked the post - see my response to Myra for pronunciation info

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Winnie,

Great post. It made me think of Julie (Lessman). I think she does a great job with imagery in her books!

And I have to congratulate you on "A Baby Between Them". I thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole series was wonderful and all three books were equally great (which I think is unusual - normally one is weaker than the others).

When that baby went missing in yours, I tell you - OK I won't spoil it for the one who haven't read it yet. My heart stopped, let me tell you. A mother's worst fear!

Loved Nora's story!


Anonymous said...

great post, Winnie,

gotta love those Zeugmas and now that I know what they are, I can use them more... make a great word for Scrabble anyway.

Here's an excerpt... From Trail of the Sandpiper

She wanted to cry, to scream, to be angry that she had to deal this alone.

Alone… when Mark should be with her, and Leona, as well. Thoughts of them assaulted her from the darkness as she lowered her head and gave herself over to the tears.

She allowed herself a much-needed cry then told herself she couldn't do it again.

Promised herself she wouldn't. The children needed her to be strong.

She felt like a feather in a hurricane.

Tina Pinson

Winnie Griggs said...

Ruthy - you know I love you too!! So glad you stopped by while I was here

Susan - Thanks soooooo much for the kind words about A Baby Between Them. It was a very emotional book to write - I think I cried more during the writing of that one than of any other I've written to date.

Winnie Griggs said...

Tina - great example. "like a feather in a hurricane" - love it!!

Cara Lynn James said...

Loved this post, Winnie. I'm going to print it out. I never heard of Zeugmas before, but I sometimes use them! They're my favorite.

Winnie Griggs said...

Cara Lynn - glad you liked the post, and yes - zeugma is not only fun to say but it is a really neat writing tool.

CatMom said...

Great post, Winnie - - another one for my Keeper File! (okay, even if I didn't really like your "dunked cat" example*wink*). ~ I've got A BABY BETWEEN THEM and plan to take it with me on vacation to read--love that cover! Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Debby Giusti said...

Stopping by late, but I didn't want to miss your blog, Winnie. Great info!

Thanks for being with us in Seekerville today. You're an excellent teacher!


Winnie Griggs said...

CatMom - LOL on the dunked cat imagery - say what you will, it gave you a clear picture didn't it? :)

Debby, so glad you came by to say hi! Hope to see you in Anaheim.

Julie Lessman said...

WINNIE, I am SO honored that you would even want to use those examples, so by all means -- go for it and THANK YOU!!

SUZI-Q MASON -- Thank you, my friend, for the sweet comment. Love you to pieces!


Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks Julie - I'll be sure to give you proper credit.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Winnie, sorry I didn't get back to you. My computer went on the blink. yikes. Called Apple Tech service and for a hefty fee got it fixed. whew. But thankful. So hope you had a fun day. Thanks again for joining us.

Rachelle Rea said...

Wow, I had no idea what a zeugma was until you explained that. I love the idea of that now!

Thanks for the giveaway, too! :)

Shelia Hall said...

love a little imagination to the books I read! Love to win your book

marybelle said...

Well said thank you.

I would love to read A BABY BETWEEN THEM.


Anonymous said...

Nancy Jo Jenkins is the person who does a great job with figurative language. Her style mesmerized me.

Jo Huddleston said...

Winnie, thanks for great definitions and suggestions we can use in our writing. Your book sounds interesting.

Sandra Peut said...

Hi, Winnie. I really enjoyed this post - it was so informative.

A writer I've found who uses imagery so skillfully is Kate Morton ('The Shifting Fog/House at Riverton' and 'The Secret Garden'). Her novels explore gothic themes of family secrets and the past coming back to haunt the future.

I'll definitely be trying to include some more zeugmas in my own manuscripts - now that I know what they are, lol!

God bless,

Sandra Peut (www.sandrapeut.com)

Ginger said...

Thank you for this informative post. I've saved it to read again and again.

ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com