Have fun and make it humorous

Jerry Bellune

Jun 1, 2022

Compelling writers make frequent use of allusions, metaphors and similes to paint pictures.

Compelling writers make frequent use of allusions, metaphors and similes to paint pictures.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay described coach Urban Meyer after a losing game:

He carries himself like a kid being forced to wear a collared shirt to a wedding. If there was an award for desultory body language, he would win in a landslide.

A dead-eyed Meyer could barely manage a handshake with Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel. He held the bearing of a man who’d come home to a flooded basement.

In Giving Good Weight, journalist John McPhee opened his story in The New Yorker:

You people come into the market — the Greenmarket in the open air under the downpouring sun — and you slit the tomatoes with your fingernails. With your thumbs, you excavate the cheese. You pulp the nectarines and rape the sweet corn.

From the front lines in Italy, World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote:

I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow down. The moon was nearly full, and you could see far up the trail. Soldiers made shadows as they walked.

Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed onto the backs of mules. They came belly down across the wooden–back saddle, their heads hanging down on the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking awkwardly from the other side, bobbing up and down as the mule walked.

Now try it yourself and email me a copy. Thanks.

Next: What’s on Your Readers’ Minds?

For more on reporting, writing and editing, read writing coach Jerry Bellune’s The Art of Compelling Writing, available for $9.99 at Amazon.com

Jerry Bellune is a writing coach and author of “The Art of Compelling Writing, Volume 1.” For a personally autographed copy, send your check to him at PO Box 1500, Lexington SC 29071-1500.