Here's a quote from a recent critique I received-
It pulled me forward as steadily as a cord around my waist would have. -Nice use of a simple metaphor! (By simple I mean it's not flowery or overdone, it's visceral and direct). It's especially good because there is something about 'chord around my waist' that implies a degree of coercion, of threat. However, I feel 'would have' at the end, does not work. Consider:
> It pulled me forward as steadily as a cord around my waist.
Hmm.. could we save more words?
> It pulled me steadily forward, like a cord around my waist.I thought this was a great comment. The funny thing is that I think I worded it specifically to avoid the word 'like' since I tend to overuse that word. (When I'm writing a rough draft I write down every comparison I think of. I don't self-edit too much at that point, and then I whittle down to the very best comarisons, the ones that feel natural and just a teensy bit illuminating. If an idea is too profound, it often is a 'darling' and should be killed.
For instance, from my first draft-
“Get a hold of yourself, Lara,” I chided myself, as my mind sought for the hurricane windows, trying to bolt them down in time to face the storm raging inside my sister.I even had some people comment that they liked the hurricane windows, but I realized it was something that my MC would know nothing about. But mainly is distracts from the story.
I read somewhere (I looked and can't find it again. Drat.) that Paul Simon was complimented that his songs were like poetry. He was asked which he considered himself: a poet or a songwriter. He said something like- If there's a choice between changing the words to fit the music or the music to fit the words, I choose to change the words. I'm a songwriter.
So, the metaphor may fit the mood or make sense, but it has to be secondary to the story.