Probably one of my favorite and one of the most utilized literary device in my bag—alliteration is likely the top—Personification is a helpful little pixie, amplifying feeling and imagery and depth in a scene with a little magic.
Some of my favorite edits in a story, mine or otherwise, have transformed weak language into strong images, especially those that use to-be verbs or a lot of step-by-step action. Personification is my go-to fix for these, like:
Ria fell, banging her chin on the ground, verses, The ground jumped up to kiss Ria on the chin.
She dreaded this moment, verses, Dread sank its nails into my chest, piggy-backing across my shoulders and ribs.
He was in love, verses, Love ate at his insides, bloating it with rotten flesh and a swarm of maggots.
Now, I don’t feel as though any lesson I give would add much to what’s currently out there, so what I wanted to do was showcase how beautiful and powerful personification can be with some examples.
The cave sneered at us with the promise of pain.
Wind’s wails cursed us.
The Ferris wheel’s eye tore open my soul, ravaging my insides and scattering them about the small carnival.
My computer throws a fit every time I try to use it.
Thunder grumbled like an old man.
The Scottish Highlands called my wolf from its hiding place.
I could likely go on and on and on and on…but I think you get my point. When you’re working through your WIP, give personification a chance.
Share your favorite uses of personification in the comments below and let me know what your favorite literary device is to use.