Shape Thesaurus Entry: Crescent

Natural:

Arched back
Banana
Waxing/waning moon
Fingernail
Bull horns
Bay shoreline
Partial eclipse
Moustache
orange/apple slice
Pea Pod
Green/yellow beans
Shark tail
Melon slice
Smile
Cupped palm
Rainbow

Man-made:

Cul-de-sac
Wind-filled sails
Fortune cookies
Perogies
Croissant
Wrench
Sickle
Shepherd's crook
Turnover
Flags: Turkey, Algeria, Pakistan, Malaysia

Synonyms: sickle, rounded, lunate, curve

Describing a shape is best done in as few words as possible. Think of the shape as a camera snap shot--you want to capture the gist of what you mean as soon as possible so you can get on with other related (and more important) detail, and the action happening in the scene

A weak example:

The waning moon floated in the night sky like one of Aunt Helga's bloated perogies in a cast iron pot.

What's wrong with this example?

Oh boy. This is a CLASSIC bad comparison. Unless you're going for laughs, of course. Bad laughs. Plus, bloated and floated? Yikes.

A strong example:

The waxing moon hung in the night sky like the top of a shepherd's crook, keeping watch over the world.

Why does this work?

Not only is it apt, it's also symbolic and leaves the reader with a peaceful, safe feeling.

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5 comments:

Kelly said...

Love your examples!

(Psssst....crescent.)

Angela said...

ha thanks! Dang spell check!

Matt said...

I just discovered your blog. Wish I'd known about it years ago. Boy are there a lot of eye rollers in my manuscript.

Angela said...

Better late than never, Matt! Welcome to the Bookshelf Muse!

Mary Witzl said...

Yay -- you put in the Turkish flag!

And Matt is right: your blog has made me cut my shrugs and eye rolls by at least 40%.

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