Friday, May 25, 2007

Simile Contest

Mystery writers love simile. A simile is, of course, a comparison between two unlike objects, using the words "like" or "as..as a," as in, "She was as hungry as a tapeworm in a fashion model." Noir is famous for its use of similes, and Raymond Chandler sets the bar. Here's a few of his greats:

"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts "---The Big Sleep

"The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips." ---The Lady in the Lake

"I'm an occational drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard." --"The King in Yellow"

Beautiful, no? It makes the language walk right out and smile at you. Then there are, of course, the "worst similes ever," written by high school students. They circulate the Internet every few years, so I'm not sure if they're actually by high school students. I love 'em, though. Here's a few of my favorites:

"The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. Unlike Phil, however, it just might work."

"Her date was pleasant, but she knew if her life was a movie, this guy would be buried in the credits as something like 'Second Tall Man.'"

Wonderful. Here's my challenge to you. Write a fantastic simile, one that makes me laugh, think, or retch. Post it as a reply to this post. The winner gets a free copy of May Day, the first in my Murder-by-Month mysteries. (If you've already ready May Day, I'll send you a copy of June Bug. If you've already read them both, bless you.)

7 comments:

Sandra Seamans said...

The lady smiled than broke into the most delicious laughter. You know, the kind that reminds you of chocolate frosted donuts with sprinkles.

Becky said...

Ian liked his scotch the way he liked his women; neat, strong and with a smokey finish.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

"I continued to stare down at the fuzzy photo in the paper, my lips tighter than a pair of size six shoes on size nine feet." -- from the upcoming Thugs & Kisses, the 3rd Odelia Grey novel.

And I already have both of your books!

Julia Buckley said...

Hey, Jess!

I don't know--I think even those two examples are not bad similes. They're kind of fun, actually. Your students must be much better than mine. :)

Okay, here's a description of my dog.

My dog's head begins with a skinny little snout that eventually tapers into a small skull--kind of like a light bulb that never turns on, which would also describe his brain.

Pat said...

He was as contented as a dog sunning its belly on a warm summer afternoon...only the dog smelled better.

Jess Lourey said...

Ha! These are all great. Sandra, you make me want donuts. Becky, I don't like scotch, but I'm curious what a woman with a smokey finish is all about. Julia, you always make me laugh! I love that your dog is such a dog. Sue Ann, yours is so far at the top of my list, partially because the name of the novel is so clever and partially because it is so tight--no wasted words. Pat, yours is also concise, and who is this person who smells worse than a dog?

Ann said...

"Silver darted like schools of tuna through her once-black hair...."

From "Covenant" by John Everson. Can't brush my hair now without looking for fish near my scalp: