Take these 4 steps to creating an analogy
Sometimes you’ll find a metaphor in an interview. Other times, it’s up to you to create one yourself.
When you find yourself in that situation, try my four-part Metaphor Generator:
Here’s how it works:
1. Jot down the unfamiliar item.
This is the concept you plan to compare. For one group of agricultural writers, that concept was “genetic mapping.”
2. Note the key attribute.
What is it about the unfamiliar topic that you want audience members to understand? In the case of the agricultural writers, the key attribute was that genetic mapping helps ranchers predict the future.
The more tangible and colloquial your key attribute is, the easier it will be to …
3. List familiar items that share the key attribute.
For “predict the future,” for instance, the list might include:
The more concrete and specific these familiar items are, the better the metaphor. For instance: “Dionne Warwick,” “1-800-PSYCHIC” and “Miss Cleo” will all yield better metaphors than “psychic.”
Keep pushing — the more items you list at this step, the more interesting and sophisticated the resulting metaphor will be. Brainstorming in a group might help: More heads are better than one on this step.
4. Craft a metaphor.
Connect the unfamiliar item to the familiar item by means of the key attribute they both share.
Then craft your metaphor with my Metaphor Template.
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