1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. Awz

    Awz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Utah

    Need some help with a simile

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Awz, Feb 4, 2017.

    At least I think it's a simile. Metaphor maybe. I need a better word than what I've used. My WIP is low fantasy. Although what I've used works, I'd like something that doesn't involve fruit. I've included the paragraph for context and highlighted where I'm not happy. I just can't think of anything else that's about the size of a watermelon that most people would be familiar enough with to visualize it. Certainly not anything that would be time appropriate. I don't think comparing to a microwave or something similar would do the trick in fantasy.
    -
    The paladin swung his war-hammer into both hands. It was massive, the handle was as thick as a grown mans forearm but the paladins fingers closed around it entirely. Almost six feet long with the head of the hammer, it was taller than any of them, except Teyous and Peter. The head of the hammer was the size of large watermelon. Made of solid metal the head alone probably weighed close to 100 pounds. The other end had a design that Preston found familiar but couldn't remember why. The paladin moved more quickly than they would have imagined. He wasn't trying to be silent now, crashing through chairs and tables in pursuit of Crowther, who was dancing across the table tops laughing.
    -
    Before anyone says it. I'm aware that warhammers were nowhere near this size. It's meant more as a weapon of intimidation than battle.
     
  2. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,537
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    cannonball darling x
     
    SethLoki likes this.
  3. Asphyxiates

    Asphyxiates New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Personally, I think the description of the weapon is kind of long, and interrupts the story. Maybe describe the axe in small bits within seperate actions. Swinging a hammer into both hands makes no sense as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  4. Awz

    Awz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Yeah it is a little long winded. I can fix that. I'm still in draft stages :). Matwoolf, I like your thinking but most cannonballs were pretty small. I do know the US used a pretty heavy ball during the civil war though.
     
  5. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    612
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    The business end of the hammer was the size of a ox's skull (or a warhorse's skull).

    I guess watermelon seems soft, rounded and not dangerous. So I was trying to find something comparable in size but more impressive.
     
    Shadowfax likes this.
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9,519
    Likes Received:
    6,028
    I agree that the description feels unnecessarily long. My variation:

    The paladin swung his war-hammer--a weapon taller than Preston, with a head the size of a half-grown pig--into both hands. The handle had a design that was faintly familiar to Preston, but he had no time to search his memory. The paladin moved with startling speed, crashing through chairs and tables in pursuit of Crowther, who was dancing across the table tops laughing.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  7. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    @ChickenFreak FTW!

    Or, since your setting is a tavern, you could say the hammer had a head the size of a small keg.
     
  8. Awz

    Awz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    I went with a large soup kettle. Something you'd likely find in a tavern or inn anyway. Although I do kind of like the keg idea. Strange how facebook advertisements work sometimes huh!? I also restructured the sentence, moved things around. A couple lines even went to different paragraphs further in the scenario. Thank you for the suggestions. I love this forum.
     
  9. Michael Pless

    Michael Pless Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Australia
    I quite like the use of "keg" - I found it more impactful than "soup-kettle", because I could imagine something shaped a bit like a keg on the end of a handle, bringing the imagery of a war-hammer closer in my mind. I Googled "Soup-kettle" and got pictures of things that were a little closer to a globe than a hammer, and some looked like what to me is a cauldron, so the S-K failed badly for me, apart from the extra syllables: I imagined a narrator striving for maximum impact with his story and S-K dragged the sentence out too much, I thought.

    Kegs come in a variety of sizes though, and going by Googled volume, and assuming the head was made of iron, the mass would be nearing half a tonne, assuming US sizes. A "small" keg could conceivably be half the volume, or perhaps 2/3 of a full-size one.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    1,669
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    Incidentally on the simile/metaphor thing - this is a simile - the head of the hammer was like something else , a metaphor is when you actually use something else for emphasis

    Bob ate like a pig = simile
    Bob was a pig = metaphor (unless bob is actually a pig)
     
    Awz likes this.
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,293
    Likes Received:
    1,669
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    A barrel is 36 imp gallons , a kilderkin is 18, and a firkin 9 - generally a keg is an odd sized cask smaller than a firkin
     
    Catrin Lewis and Awz like this.
  12. Awz

    Awz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Awesome, thank you moose. a firkin is about the size I was thinking.
     
  13. Michael Pless

    Michael Pless Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Australia
    Ok.

    I didn't put a lot of effort into the research - as I said, I just did a quick google and got this:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99857594/Screenshot%20from%202017-02-06%2009-48-44.png
    - then I converted from archaic measurements to metric.
     
  14. Adam Kalauz

    Adam Kalauz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    The problem at hand:

    some ideas / prompts

    The head of the hammer was the size of
    - a beer Stein
    - an encyclopedia, or maybe - xxx's holy book (nice way to name drop?)
    - one of xxx's pay-chests (another nice way to name-drop?)
    - a small child (just making myself laugh)
    - Twice the size of Preston's head.

    But people saying the description was too long are right imo. Action should go fast. Describe important items before or after! :)
     
  15. Adam Kalauz

    Adam Kalauz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    COMPLETELY off topic, but:

    https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Diageo/@56.1267439,-3.8464406,326m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x48887d6f14834463:0x5bb52630302fb9e0!8m2!3d56.1303975!4d-3.8681828

    if the link works, and opens in Satelite view, you're looking at the barrel storage park of Diageo, the worlds largest whisky manufacturer. The bevelled squares you can see are actually pyramids of empty barrels, stacked maybe 6 or 7 high, waiting to be filled with delicious whisky. :)
     
    Michael Pless likes this.

Share This Page