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Literary Devices

Welcome back to “Building Your Toolbox”. The next thing you will need is the list of literary devices. And what exactly are literary devices you ask? Simply put, they are the building blocks of literature. Some, I’m sure, you have heard of and use in your daily life without even thinking about it such as metaphors (example: her eyes were diamonds), similes (example: light as a feather), and humor. Then there are those that you may notice while reading a story such as foreshadowing, imagery and irony. Finally, there are some that you may never even heard of such as verisimilitude  (pronounced ve-ri-si-mi-li-tude) a theoretical concept that determines the semblance of truth in an assertion or hypothesis or anachronism, an error in chronology,  imagine reading a story about a caveman who microwaves his dinner, or watching a film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel in which the characters text each other instead of writing letters.

Google ‘literary devices’, and a plethora of websites will come up. So, how do you add them to your toolbox? I researched many websites and bookmarked three that I really like and pull them up when I need them. Another (old fashioned) way is to find some that you really like and use often and write them down in a notebook that you keep with you while writing.

I suggest reading as many of the lists provided on the internet and challenge yourself to use new ones. Even if you don’t use them in your primary piece of writing, write a short story using new literary devices and have someone read it to get some feedback. 

The more you know, the richer your story will be.

Next week: A Good Old Fashioned Thesaurus

Until next time… 

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