Come Play a Game About Literary Devices!

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I’ve finished a series on literary devices. (One is more a problem than a supportive device.) As a review, I list the devices, definition hints, and the sentence number(s) of where they show up in my scene below. I invite you to ignore my answers and try to spot the examples(s) for each device. If you want to know more about a device, click on the device’s name to go to my post about it.

Literary Device

Hint

Sentence #

Allusion

a passing reference

3

Amplification

add more information

14

Aphorism

true, short, and witty

45

Asyndeton

omission of conjunctions

11

Authorial Intrusion

author seeks relationship

11

Circumlocution

express in roundabout way

54-60

Diction

word choices

14, 15, 28, 46

Euphemism

less offensive expression

33

Faulty Parallelism

rebel in a series

22

Foil

opposing traits to protagonist

Sam

Foreshadowing

“clue” to the future

1

Hyperbaton

sentence order transposed

 29, 31

Imagery

creates strong mental pictures

10

Malapropism

sneaky lookalike

15, 18

Metonymy (Synecdoche)

things called by another name

4, 12

Personification

give things human traits

26

Symbolism

imbue things with deeper meaning

49

1Sam leaned against the bus stop pole and slid a piece of paper into his pocket. 2“Here comes Jocelyn. 3Time to don my Superman cape.” 4He flexed his pecs, expanding his T-shirt sporting the word STUD.

5On the bench, Grayson didn’t move. 6No way would he check behind him and let Sam blast him with another “gotcha,” especially when it had to do with Jocelyn.

7Sam’s eyes lit up and he turned on his I’m-your-man smile.

8The guy was telling the truth.

9Grayson turned his head until he could sneak a glance at Jocelyn. 10Her brunette ponytail swished as her pink tennis shoes slapped the sidewalk’s incline. 11You know the type, young, pretty, a fresh look of innocence. 12Grayson’s pumper skipped a beat.

13“I don’t think the cape’s going to help,” he said. “14In case you haven’t noticed, we’re loitering at a bus stop.”

image by Yummymoon

15 “Is your point that bus stops are for suave octogonians to pick up old women with oxygen tanks? Not for macho guys like me?”

16Grayson rolled his eyes then checked Jocelyn’s progress toward them. 17“For once, can you act normal?”

18“I’m no wolf in cheap clothing. 19I can’t help it I’m a friendly”—he pointed at the word on his shirt—“stud.”

20Had Jocelyn read his note? 21Grayson wiped the sweat beading his forehead. 22She didn’t look particularly happy, bummed, or had a frightened expression. 23Why had he asked her out in a note? 24How lame was that?

25“Hi, guys.” Jocelyn flashed them her full-lipped smile. See nodded at the bus stop sign. 26“Sam, is your clunker Camaro sick?”

image by warner22brigette

27“Clunker? 28Honey, that ride is a classic in her prime.”

29“So you say.” 30She turned to Grayson.

31Here it came. 32He braced for the shoot-down.

33I heard your dog passed away, Grayson. 34I’m sorry.”

35So was he, but what about the note? 36The date?

37Sam tugged out the piece of paper he’d pocketed.

38Grayson did a double take. 39That was the paper he’d scrawled his dumb note on. 40Sam had taken it off Jocelyn’s door? 41The slimeball. 42But wait. 43She hadn’t seen it. 44He let out a breath. 45Sometimes a buddy in greed was buddy indeed.

46“Well, lookie here.” 47Sam dangled the paper.

48Grayson stood, blood draining from his head. “Sam!” 49He eyed the note threatening his doom. 50Don’t. 51I mean it.”

52Jocelyn’s forehead wrinkled as Sam laughed.

53Sam waved the paper. “54I decided to ask you out, but when I got to your house what should I see on your door? 55It wasn’t a foreclosure notice. 56No. 57It wasn’t a bill collector’s letter. 58No. 59It wasn’t an offer for low-cost Internet service. 60N—“

61Grayson lunged and grabbed for the note. 62Sam yanked it out of his reach, guffawing. “63No, it was a note from Grayson asking you out. 64How uncool is that?”

65Jocelyn stared at Sam then turned to Grayson. 66“Sounds sweet to me.”

 See if you can spot seventeen literary devices in a short scene. Click to tweet.

What is your favorite literary device? Why?

Amplification: Embellish What You Just Wrote With More Information

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What Amplification Is

Amplification is a literary device. Suppose you write a statement, but it doesn’t give the reader enough information to fully understand it or see the full impact of the object, idea, or event. So, you add information to further explain it or to emphasize it. You are using amplification.

image by warintr

Example

    Jeannie entered her apartment. Callie’s brother, lay on the sofa. What was her roommate’s brother doing—besides sleeping—in their apartment?
    She crossed her arms over her ribcage. “Ahem.”
    Justin’s eyes opened, and he looked around, confused. He turned his head toward her and startled.
     “Why are you here, Justin.” 
     “I’m sick. My temperature is up to 102 degrees, I have a sore throat, and my head is pounding. Callie went to the drugstore to get me some meds.”

The sentence in italics is an example of amplification. Justin and the author wanted Jeannie to realize how sick he is to justify his presence in the girls’ apartment.

Why Amplification Is Important

Amplification works well to:

  • reinforce a point.
  • highlight something important.
  • elicit emotion from the reader.
  • persuade why an idea should be considered.
  • make an object or an idea more vivid to the reader.
  • increase the reader’s understanding about something.
  • supplement an initial abrupt sentence.

More Examples

 

image by skeeze

1. Original Sentence: I stuck my head inside the opening in the stone face that stretched from the ground to my shoulders. The bat cave was a horror house inside.

The reader struggles to imagine what was going on in a bat “horror house.” The reader needs more information and description.

Rewrite: I stuck my head inside the opening in the stone face that stretched from the ground to my shoulders. The bat cave was a horror house inside. Black rodents with collapsed wings hung from every ridge in the stone ceiling. Flying bats dive-bombed two cats. The gray cat swiped a bat from the air. I jumped out of its way as it slinked outside with its squirming prey between its teeth. The biggest bat I’d ever seen swooped down and sunk its claws into the black cat’s coat. The cat screeched, performed three wrangling flips, and raced into the sunlight, the bat riding the cat as if it were a bucking bronco.

2. The 24-foot, food-laden table was the showpiece that—with its clawed feet, its massive armed chairs, and its purple brocade tablecloth presenting gold-rimmed china and crystal goblets filled with a red beverage—looked like a cross between a king’s feast and Dracula’s repast for vampires.

Use amplification to emphasize or add information to what you just stated. Click to tweet.

What reasons do you, or might you, use amplification?