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Why Using A Metaphor Can Be A Valuable Tool In Storytelling And Education

Written by: Daniel David Leaver, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

In this article, I will discuss how you can capture your audience's attention by metaphorically speaking. Using metaphor examples, I will explain why I use them and how you can and should.

Manager talking with her diverse team of young businesspeople during a meeting together in an office

A metaphor is a type of analogy used to compare two unrelated things. Storytelling can often be elaborate and articulate to elicit compound feelings and emotions. When using them in my work, I usually describe feelings or emotions through a relatable, understandable intricate story.


Using metaphors can leave a lasting effect and make learning more accessible in some cases. When inspiration hits me, I think of the message I want to convey and the ideas that will present it.


When I wrote "The Mermaid Princess," I was at a low point in my life where I felt lonely and hopeless. I developed a pen pal relationship with a young lady that helped pull me out of the dark. She was, in this example, the mermaid princess. In many ways, the story, in that case, represented my life and feelings at the time. She helped to lift my spirits, and I spent many nights writing to my friend we will call Belle. In this example, I wanted her to know the importance of her friendship at that time in my life. She helped me develop and tone my writing as a career. We remain friends to this day, and she has always been a positive inspiration, even from a great distance.


One of the valuable lessons I had to learn was that as we grow, our survival could help save others. We live in a world that can be extremely hard to survive, and self-harm and mental health are big problems. I realized that the words we write could and do save lives.


I wrote "The Bridge" to constantly remind myself to stay strong and survive, no matter what life brings my way. More than that, to encourage others to keep fighting their fight. So many people lose their battle yearly, often from a bridge. We can build someone up or tear them down with the power of our words.


Sometimes a kind word from a stranger can change an entire destiny. At other times they can end one. Just look at the tragic case of Death by Text | Full Episode that sadly ended when one friend encouraged another "friend" to end his own life instead of offering him the life-saving encouragement he desperately needed. That is an extreme and raw example of the power our words have, but sadly not the only one. The Power of Words is an excellent article on the subject.


If you weave your story or lesson into a powerful metaphor, your readers can expect more involvement and interaction. You will receive better engagement, and the tasks will be more effective.


How do you relate a metaphor to a story? Often a metaphor is a descriptive phrase or sentence used to compare or describe a particular event or feeling with an emotion or lesson. Poets usually draw from those emotions and experiences they share or encounter. They wish to convey their feelings in words to understand better or provide a lasting effect. Similarly, one may explain clouds to a blind person using billowy cotton. The terms may sting or protrude resentment if a harsh breakup occurs. For a new love, the words may evoke emotions of beauty and engagement. Sometimes it can capture an audience's or classroom's attention, set the stage, or paint the scenery. The main goal is to plant and instill memories.


When you get an idea, please take note so you do not forget, plan it out, and don't rush into it. Sit with yourself and think. I will write my ideas down, even when I use only some of them. Before I decide, I often have jumbled notes in no particular order and will then discover the path I wish to take my story down. Sometimes, the leftover phrases or ideas will give me thoughts on a different or next story. You may choose one comparison and find a better one as you write. By doing this, you are exercising your creativity in a sense.


Whatever the reason, drawing comparisons within your story will raise awareness and inspire others. Writing this way will increase your confidence and ability to educate, entertain or inspire those around you. Use your imagination to craft lasting and engaging stories; indeed, you will find success and fulfillment.


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Daniel David Leaver, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Daniel Leaver is an American author who grew up in Indiana. He is a faith-based writer who enjoys his time with family and friends. Daniel is best known for loving children, animals, and nature. He is an empathic writer and cleverly crafts stories that can encourage and aid in mental health awareness. A profound animal and nature lover, he can usually be found in a peaceful and quiet place.

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