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In my Monday post, I wrote about the definitions of literal and literally as they relate to communicating in conversation. Even as I wrote that post, I considered how figurative and metaphorical literature can be and how my own writing reflects my comparing and contrasting of life to objects and abstractions. My poem "Ekphrastic" that I read this week from my most recent collection--Redefined: A Year of Poetry--does this by describing a work of art as it relates to my own personal experience. In fact, I find it difficult to confine my writing to being literal. As I wrote my post, I found myself trying to define the words literal and literally through some form of comparison. I almost cannot help but use metaphor in my every day conversations, which as I explained in my previous post, is intentional. But, it is also unintentional. I am simply one who elaborates through literary devices whether I am writing or speaking. I think this is one reason why poetry is my chosen genre and why, if I do write nonfiction, it would be akin to creative nonfiction. But, I do think that this is why fiction and news writing are both more difficult for me to write.
Within fiction, there may be an element of personal experience. But, it must be cloaked within characters and plot or it isn't fiction. News writing is on the opposite spectrum of unbiased relaying of facts through the 5 Ws and an H (when, where, who, what, why, and how). Feature writing may tell a story, but the point of view must be about the individual(s) being featured, not the one writing the article.
Opinions and editorials contain personal viewpoint and may use metaphors and similes. My book reviews fall under this category. Yet, I also try not to spoil a book for another reader. I admit I may be wrong in my initial assessment about a book or I prefer some genres to others. I accept that my opinion isn't the only one, so does that mean I hold my opinion in such esteem as to exalt it? Maybe if we were talking about coffee. No, probably not even then. Who am I to say one cannot enjoy creamer, when I prefer my morning coffee to be black? Because isn't my afternoon coffee laced with chocolate and half-and-half? As for editorials, I received enough of those during my brief experience as an the editor for my college newspaper that I would refrain from editorializing in a public form. Or I would do so indirectly.
Perhaps in a poem. Or maybe a blog post.