Call Us: US - +1 845 478 5244 | UK - +44 20 7193 7850 | AUS - +61 2 8005 4826

the use of metaphoric examples

What is a literary device?

Before diving into these uncommon literary devices, let’s take a quick detour.

Talking about literary devices, figures of speech and writing style can be intimidating for many.

After scouring the web and referring to a few additional books, I didn’t come across an agreed upon definition of literary devices. So here’s my take:

A literary device is a technique you can use to create a special effect on your writing.

Think about it this way.

When writing a story or making a point, you can just use the facts, which is totally fine for in some cases like journalism, or you can liven things up a bit with a literary device.

Here’s an example of a literary device to illustrate what I’m talking about:

  • “The rain was heavy this afternoon as I walked to my car.”
  • “The rain played tag with me as I ran to my car to get shelter.”

The first sentence is just a statement about the rain. It is what it is. It’s like a reporter sharing her observation about today’s weather, and it doesn’t lead the reader to think anything specific about the rain.

The second sentence basically says the same thing. To make the rain come alive (“The rain played tag”), I used a literary device known as personification to create an image in the mind of the reader. I mean, who hasn’t tried to run away from the rain?

Literary devices are tools writers can use that are similar to tactics producers can use in film, television, or theater. By adding makeup, using costumes, or utilizing computer graphics, producers can create special effects to convey a specific visual.