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Literary Devices

Literary devices are, in simplest terms, writing techniques. They can be used to enhance your writing. Below is a list of just some of the literary devices available and how they're used.



Literary Devices


Allegory - Narratives that represent something else. It can be used to provide a deeper meaning, an underlying message. It's a narrative story that presents an abstract idea that is understandable to the reader.

Example: The Tortoise and the Hare - This story conveys determination over arrogance by telling the story of the tortoise and hare having a race.


Analogy - This one is simple. It involves comparing one thing to another.

Example: The old man was as blind as a bat.


Colloquialism - Using casual speech, including slang, to make dialogue more effective.

Example: "She was doin' darn well the last I saw her."


Euphemism - Inoffensive word or phrase that replaces a harsh or hurtful one to convey sympathy or civility.

Example: "My mother passed away six years ago."


Foreshadowing - Hinting at future events using subtle parallels. This helps create suspense.

Example: "The leaves fell early that year." This line comes from Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. It foreshadows an early death.


Symbolism - When characters, actions, and other recurring elements in a story take on a more profound meaning or represent an abstract concept.

Example: A callous crow perched outside his window on the limb of a tired oak the day his wife died.

The crow is often used as a symbol of death.


I'll discuss some of the other literary devices in a future post.



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