I recently read an interesting article in ‘The Writing Magazine’ (I have mentioned this magazine before). It explained that figures of speech are an important part of a writer’s tool kit. I am sure you know what a simile, metaphor, alliteration and assonance is, but I didn’t know the others the article mentioned.
It mentioned a zeugma. The official definition of a zeugma is confusing so I won’t bother to explain it here. I’ll just quote some examples.
I lost my bet and my patience.
He caught his breath and a bad cold.
I think I have done a zeugma in my new novel ‘Where Lies My Heart’.
…she said with wide eyes and a matching smile.
I’ve definitely done an anaphora in the book!
An anaphora is a stylistic device that relies on the repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of each sentence, or clause. The intentional repetition can lead to an emotional culmination in your writing, the article says.
Similarly, you can repeat a word or clause at the end of three consecutive sentences (three is usually the magical number). Or right next to each other, for example, as I have done in the heading of this blog.
I’ll give you the example I show in ‘Where Lies My Heart’.
…Ian listened to the disconnected tone for a long time before he slowly put the phone down. Tears ran down his cheeks, racking sounds came from his throat. ‘I’m so sorry,’ he howled as he banged his head against the wall, repeating the words endlessly.
‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry…’
Three little words which said so much. They told of his anger and frustration at failing to find Gail. They told of his anguish and remorse. They told of his pain at not saying the other three little words I love you when he had asked Gail to marry him. He had discovered, too late, how long it took the one you loved the most to die in your heart.
I’ll explain the other devices another time.