These are different writing terms that you can use to improve your story. Please put it in alphabetical order.


When words (Consenents or non-vowels) are of the same sounding beginning or letter.

Example: The Red Road

Both words start with "r."


When the author writes about a certain thing or historical event and expects the reader to know what it is.

Example: The girl's efforts were quite like Sisyphus.

This is an allusion because the author doesn't necessarily say who or what Sisyphus is. The sentence alludes to a character in Greek mythology, who was cursed to roll a stone up a hill that would always roll back down, conveying useless effort.


The comparing the relationship of two things.

Example: He was to her as a king Is to a peasant.

This could mean that he was a high and superior person, and might have treated her as such.


An antonym is one of a pair of words with opposite meanings.

Huge > Tiny

Open > Close

Slow > Fast


Repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming.

Example: Lovely Lady Lory

In the example, the -y sound is repeated, to make them rhyme. The example is a more easily spotted one. Another could be:

Example: Crumbling thunder.

The uh sound is internal rhyming, despite the fact that the two words themselves do not rhyme.

Assonance is also used to slow down a poem, in contrast to alliteration. 

Example: They fell. Snowflakes slowly dropped.

The first sentence is monosyllabic in nature and very fast, but the second sentence is slower, slowing the speed of the poem. (Taken from "Falling Leaves")


A writer's most invaluable tool, in which a writer leaves the end of a situation unsaid and highly suspenseful. The cliffhanger must be unpredictable and shocking. It usually is in the last sentence of a chapter, or a book sometimes. It keeps the reader guessing, so that it will lure the reader to continue.

Example: There was a body on the carpet. Mary's body.

If, say, Mary was an important character, her murder would most definitely be shocking.

Caution: over use of cliff hangers can be a bit tacky, so use them in good moderation.

Note: Compatible with foreshadowing


When the author hints about events that may come in the future.

Example: Eva had a cough, and constantly paled at the smallest exertion.

This could foreshadow death.


Words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings.

  •    A fish, and a flatworm.
  •    The end parts of an anchor.
  •    The fins on a whale's tail.
  •    A stroke of luck.

All four are different references with separate meanings, but share the one form, "fluke."


Terms which use exaggeration as a rhetorical means or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally. Hyperbole are often used to make a point. It is like the opposite of “understatement.”

Here are some common examples of hyperboles:

  • I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
  • I have a million things to do.
  • I had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow, uphill.

Monosyllabic wordsEdit

Words that are one (mono-) syllable (-syllabic). They speed up the pace of writing, especially poetry and can add tension or make it seem like what is happing faster in contrast to assonance which slows writing and poetry down. 

Similarly, using as few words as possible creates a terse, jerky tone. This device quckens stories and is used often in horror stories.


(In a story) Silence. The hall was quiet. She paused. Thud. A footstep. Someone was coming.

(Poetry) With swift, slow, sweet, sour, adazzle, dim. {excerpt from "Pied Beauty" by Gerard M. Hopkins}


Term that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.


  • Boom
  • Zap
  • Crash
  • Crackle

All words that sound like what would actually be heard.


An oxymoron is a word of conficting nature. The word contradicts itself, and can be used to describe things as such.

Examples: O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face! / Did ever a dragon keep so fair a cave? / Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! / Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb! / Despised substance of divinest show! {excerpt from Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 2}

In these lines, Juliet is conflicted after hearing that Romeo killed her cousin Tybalt. She is in love with Romeo, yet does not know how to feel because of his crime.

Personification Edit

Giving an inanimate object human-like qualities.

Examples: The breeze tickled her nose

A breeze cannot literally tickle someone, but the quality describes it.

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