Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Lost Art of the Beautifully Turned Phrase

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Evoking imagery with lovely literary lines

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…


Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest. 

Although beautiful, unique, metaphoric phrases and similes are normally associated with literary works, there is no reason that non-literary authors cannot use them as well. It’s not something I do well, or that I have even attempted in my writing, but when I run across it in other books, I get the warm fuzzies, and just a tough of envy. A book I’m currently reading, THE KIND WORTH KILLING, has some great lines. I’ve shared a few below.  

  • It had been raining in Boston, but in Maine, the rain had become biblical, my wipers on full speed barely able to clear the windshield. 
  • I had watched Lily, in the course of her short speech, become briefly passionate, her face pushing toward me like a sun worshiper tilting toward the sun to get most of its rays. 
  • Deep shadows accentuated her curves, and her face, cast in the TV’s light, seemed a black-and-white version of herself.
  • I’d been waiting for two things since killing him. Waiting to get caught and waiting to feel bad. Neither had happened yet, and I knew that neither would. 
  • The following morning the rain was done, the clouds all swept out to sea, and it was one of those October days that sell calendars.

A few of these are more vivid description rather than great lines, but they still evoke an image of the setting, the character, etc. But, I still thought they were memorable, melodious. Although I know part of this is ‘voice,’ and comes naturally, I also know that, if we work at it, we can come up with cleverly turned phrases of our own. Or, at least, I’m going to try. 

What are some lines you’ve read in contemporary fiction that stick with you? Or, perhaps some lines you’ve actually written? Please feel free to share in the comments. 

Until next time…Happy Writing!


ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final



*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 



How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here


Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

11 responses to “Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Lost Art of the Beautifully Turned Phrase

  1. coryellsusan

    Personally, I am a sucker for metaphor–love to use it. In my new release NOBODY KNOWS: “I motored closer so that he could see the hardly visible Moore Mountain dam snuggled in between the two big shoulders of its name sake.” Thanks for an enlightening post.


  2. Great tips as always, Alicia! The examples were wonderful. I will aspire to do the same! 😀


  3. pamelasthibodeaux

    Great info as always, Alicia
    Good luck and God’s blessings


  4. Wonderful tips, Alicia! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Diane Burton

    Good tip. I love using similes but mine are so cliched I end up not using them.


  6. Beautiful prose gives me the warm fuzzier, too! 🙂


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