Jackie LearnsToWrite

Literary Devices

What exactly are literary devices, you may ask.  Well, literary devices are tools used by writers to add depth, artistry, and imagery.  They are common and therefore identifiable to the audience (the readers).  And there are a LOT of possibilities.  This post will define 10 of these tools.

  • Allegory: Using concrete examples to explain a more abstract idea.  E.g. Anxiety is like a roller coaster.  It goes up and down, and it’s hard to predict when the next dive is coming.roller-coaster-1519818_1280
  • Allusion: Referencing a well known person, place, work, or other cultural reference.  E.g. The course of their relationship reminded me of that of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
  • Anaphora: Taking the beginning of a sentence and repeating it for aesthetic emphasis.  E.g.  In a day when there is so much going on, so much tension, so much confusion, so much darkness, so many misunderstandings, why not try stories as one vehicle to communicate; why not use stories as a way to reach a greater depth of understanding, to shed light on truth, to inspire hope, and to touch hearts and lives?winter-sun-1547273_1280
  • Cacophony: Using words with sounds that sound unpleasant together.  E.g. The creaky floor hissed raucously.
  • Foil: This device is actually using a character whose oppositeness to another provides emphasis.  E.g. The girl stepped back, peaking out from behind the door, while her dog courageously stepped forward, barking at the strange intruder.girl-1004751_1280
  • Foreshadowing: Cluing the reader in on what may come. E.g. As Margo prepared for her day, she caught a glimpse of dark clouds covering the sky. [This can be author code to indicate that something bad is going to happen].
  • Hyperbole: An extreme exaggeration to make a point. E.g. It was so hot outside I almost melted.landscape-666927_1280
  • Portmanteau: Mixing two words together to fashion a new one.  E.g. Hangry= hunger + angry
  • Spoonerism: Swapping the initial letters of words for potential effects of wit or humor.  E.g. She demanded the papers here and now, nere and how! woman-975339_1280
  • Synecdoche: Naming a part with the intent of referring to the entire thing.  E.g. Whiskers over there is driving me crazy! [In reference to a cat, who is not named Whiskers].

There are plenty more literary devices out there.  I may do another post in the future describing some more of these tools.  Do you have any favorite literary devices you use to enhance your writing?


References and Further Information


Notable Quotable from Agatha Christie

Another great Monday Notable Quotable and great piece of advice for multitasking on a busy schedule when you want to write.

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” -Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) has sold over 2 billion copies of her literature, making her having sold one of the largest amounts by an author.  She was best known for her mysteries, but also wrote plays and romances.  Well known works include The Mystery of the Blue Train and Murder on the Orient Express.




Bio. “Agatha Christie Biography.” From

Shafrir, Doree. “24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More.” From

Blog Tour: A Time To Speak

A Time To Rise is the second in the incredible Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes (@NadineBrandes).  As we await the publication of the third and final book of the series, coming out in October (I can’t wait!!), I am excited to participate in the blog tour! For my piece,  I decided to do another photo tour (see Blog Tour: Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die for the first one) to summarize the key events.  And if you weren’t already interested in reading this series, just look at how this novel progresses from jail to train cars to Antarctica and on!  That’s gotta spark some sort of curiosity, right?   There may be some **SPOILERS** so close your eyes if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want to know what’s coming!

  1. Jail



2. Solomon



3. Urge To Speak



4. The City


5. New Clocks



6. The Train Cars



7. Shipped



8. Antarctica


9. A Plan



10. The West



11. The Wall



12. Captured



13. A Time To Die



#ATime2Speak      #OutofTimeSeries

If you pre-order the book, click on the link below to get some pre-order swag 🙂

Fall Aesthetic Inspiration

The following is an aesthetic board  I created with pictures from Pixabay. Anyone is welcome to use it as inspiration for a fall fantasy story!  For more on aesthetic boards, click on the link to my post.  Hope you enjoy a little Monday inspiration 🙂  Happy writing!

Possible prompt:

As Fall’s orange colors, pumpkin scents, and cool air began to overtake the lands, I knew that we must begin the journey soon…

Review: Brainwalker

Title: Brainwalker

Authors: Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy; Teens & YA

Rating: 4/5 stars

 Brainwalker was a very exciting and clever book featuring a boy who finds himself in his dad’s brain with the opportunity to save him from his decreasing creativity and mental flexibility.  I would describe the plot as fast paced, imaginative, and adventurous. With both elements of actual brain anatomy as well as fantastical components, the setting for the novel is mostly the inside of the protagonist’s father’s brain, the Brainiverse.  Mundell and Lacast introduce science terms and facts amidst the science fiction throughout the book that could spur an interest in science among their audience.  I could definitely have seen my upper elementary/middle school self having enjoyed this book.  Overall, this was an entertaining read and I rate it 4/5 stars. 
I received a free electronic copy from Netgalley to review

Blog Tour: Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die

I am excited to participate in the blog tour of Nadine Brandes’ A Time To Die as Nadine Brandes’ (@NadineBrandes) last book of the Out of Time Series series will be released this October! A Time To Die has become my favorite work of fiction and I’m so excited to read the conclusion of the series soon! My post for this work is a photo tour of Parvin’s journey. Thank you to Pixabay for the photos! There may be minor *SPOILERS* as the pictures and titles somewhat reveal the storyline so proceed with caution. Enjoy!!


1. Unity Village



2. Biography



3. Skelley



4. The Wall

The Wall


5. The Cliff

The Cliff


6. Nearing Albino Village

Albino territory


7. Jude


8. The Dregs

The dregs


9. Willow



10. Traveling

Camping and journeying


11. Train 

The train


12. Ivanhoe


13. Sunrise



14. Growing Faith

Growing faith


15. Bridge, Mission



16. CountdownCountdown


17. Assassin



18.  Perseverance



19. Devastation



20. New Purpose

new purpose

#ATime2Die     #OutofTimeSeries

If you pre-order the book, click on the link below to get some pre-order swag 🙂

Aesthetic Boards

After joining the WordPress blogging community and beginning my journey of intentionally learning to write, I first heard the term “aesthetic board” from a fellow blogger.  This concept was intriguing to me.  Basically, this involves gathering images to inspire and help set a tone and feel for one’s writing.


As I further explored and researched, I learned that the business world uses this technique for marketing and pitches, referred to as creating a mood board.  It can help express the idea and evoke emotions.  In the writing world, the boards appear more geared toward helping fuel the writing process.   People use them to create inspiration for an overall book, as well as creating ones as a part of developing individual characters.


Aesthetic boards can include pictures that envision the character, setting, etc; pictures that depict the mood, emotion, or tone; or even quotes that capture the essence.  They can be created physically from photographs or cutting out magazine pictures, by compiling digital images ( is a great site for pictures under Creative Commons CCO), or even by pinning a pinterest board.


I hope you find this strategy as fun as I do!  Have any of you created or used aesthetic boards?



References and Further Information

Chapman, K.J. “Novel Aesthetics Boards.” Found at

Clarek, Jenna. “How To: Character Aesthetic Boards.”  Found at

Creative Bloq Staff. “24 pro tips for creating inspirational mood boards.” Found at

Denton, Darla. “What are Character Aesthetic Boards?” Found at


Notable Quotable from Toni Morrison

I love the motivating quote for this Monday!

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  -Toni Morrison

Imagine the the most fantastic, creative, intriguing book you could ever read, and write it!  Toni Morrison was born in 1931 and has won multiple awards for her writing including the Nobel prize and Pulitzer.  Works she is known for include Song of Solomon, Beloved, Bluest Eye, and A Mercy.


Bio. “Toni Morrison Biography.” From

Shafrir, Doree. “24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More.” From

Snacks While Writing and On A Diet

Beverages: Bring on the caffeine.  My favorite writing beverages often bring the pleasant aroma and atmosphere I associate with writing, as well as caffeine!  Water’s good too.


  • Coffee: This is a classic, of course.  Fortunately, I’ve evolved from coffee with cream and sugar to coffee with skim or almond milk (it was a process, lol).  At this point it’s not too unhealthy a drink which means I can have plenty to accompany my writing without going over my daily goal! (I do Weight Watchers)
  • Hot Tea: With plenty of flavors to choose this can be another excellent choice.  You can also choose a tea that does not have much caffeine if you are writing in the evening or night time, without giving up having a steaming, cozy beverage to accompany you.
  • Water: Gotta keep my plant on PlantNanny watered!  I learned about this app from another blogger (Thanks DIYMariellis).  It probably goes without mentioning that staying hydrated is good for overall health, including your brain which is essential for good writing 😉


Snacks: As much as I love munching on stuff while I do pretty much any type of seated work, I gotta watch what and how much I’m eating.  These are some good options for me!


  • Carrot Sticks: Super easy, crunchy, not messy, and full of vitamin A.  As an occupational therapist I sometimes recommend a snack such as this to a parent for their child for some extra “proprioceptive” input during homework time.  Proprioception, which is basically the sense of ones joints and muscles, is considered to be a regulating and organizing sensory input.  Double plus!
  • Individual packets/bags of chips: Chips are one of my weaknesses.  I LOVE chips: potato chips, cheese puffs, nachos, you name it! The best way to not over eat chips for me is to get the individual serving (lunch) bags.
  • Halo Top icecream: Delicious! It’s low calorie ice cream that I really can’t tell is low calorie.  My favorite flavor is the Vanilla!  If I accidently devour the whole pint~ at least it’s only 240-280 calories! #worthit
  • Fruit: Not quite as convenient neatness wise, as some can be sticky and drip juice, but another good healthy option! Some of my favorites are bananas, plums, peaches, and apricots!  My newest discovery has been cotton candy grapes, which I actually do detect a cotton candy flavor to them!
  • Mozzarella string cheese: Another favorite of mine.  Simple, easy, yummy.
  • Popcorn: Low calorie and fiberful, with that savory smell

How about you?  Do you munch when you write?  What are your favorite writing snacks?

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