Cracking Open A Metaphor To Add Meaning To A Story

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Write about a metaphor you used in one of your books. What does it represent?

Metaphors can be a valuable literary device to integrate symbolism in their works that will activate readers’ imaginations and offer them a different way. By directly comparing two different things, authors can give qualities to the first thing through the use of the second. In this way, writers can “show” instead of “tell” important aspects of a story or character as well as convey an underlying message through the thematic use of a metaphor throughout the plot.

In the contemporary romance My Way to You, I used eggs as a metaphor for Simon and Regina’s relationship. Simon is best friends with Regina’s brother Marcus. When he meets her, he is immediately attracted to her and becomes determined to get her in his bed. Simon is a playa who goes through women. Although he is completely honest with all of his bedmates about not wanting a relationship, he knows that Marcus would not appreciate him making Regina one of them. So, he must consider risking his friendship for a night of passion with her.

Regina is not feeling Simon, at first, but he wins her over with his confidence and charm. She wants Simon, but the thought that her overprotective brother Marcus will stick his nose in her business nags her. There are also her pro-Black blog followers to think about. As silly as it may seem, she has to face the fact that many of them will not be happy if she gets involved with an Asian man.

Simon and Regina start seeing each other, but they must be careful to keep their affair a secret from Marcus and the world.

Throughout My Way to You, I used eggs to represent the fragility of Simon and Regina’s relationship. They spend most of the book walking on emotional and social eggshells, trying carefully not to break them to be together. I also used eggs to represent the fertility of their budding relationship and how each of them must learn to be cautious about how they handle what they say and do to win the other person’s affection.

In one scene, Regina prepares scrambled eggs for Simon while talking to her friend about finding an invitation to a cocktail party at his law firm. As she cracks them and cooks them, she makes minor mistakes, symbolizing her insecurities about whether they are at the point in their relationship where she can consider herself his girlfriend and if she’s ready to be one.

Check out the excerpt below.

Regina grabbed a mixing bowl from the cabinet and reached for the carton of brown organic eggs in the refrigerator. She tapped an egg against the edge of the bowl and opened it with one hand. The yellow and clear contents spilled and swirled against the white ceramic vessel, settling at the bottom. Preparing breakfast for Simon before he left for work almost made her feel domestic, which she never pictured herself being. She was not the Suzy Homemaker type, but it was nice anticipating how much he would enjoy eating what she made for him—once he managed to tame his massive erection and get out of bed.

She hovered the next brown orb over the bowl and stared at a black card next to her hand. After reading it, she began to slightly freak out. It’s an invitation. Does he want me to go? Maybe that’s why he left it on the counter? Regina swallowed a lump in her throat.“I need to talk to Toni. Where’s my phone?” Careful not to wake Simon, she tiptoed into and out of the bedroom and then dialed.

Toni answered. “Wow, Simon’s got you up early.

“Where’s Marc?”

Don’t worry, he’s out for his morning run. What’s goin’ on? You were talking so much about finally gettin’ to see Simon, I figured the two of you would still be…um…busy.

“You’re too hilarious.” Regina rolled her eyes at the sound of Toni’s giggling. “We need to talk.”

What is it?

“I found an invitation to a cocktail party at Simon’s firm.”


“It was on the counter.” Regina returned to cracking eggs in the bowl and lit the flame under the pan on the stove. “What do you think it means?”

“I think it means that someone at Simon’s firm is throwin’ a party.”

Regina poured the eggs into the pan and jumped at the clicking sound of the bedroom door. Clutching the front of her robe, she allowed breath to flow in and out of her chest again when the bathroom door shut. “Simon’s up.” She stirred the eggs and watched them puff in the pan. “I can’t talk for long.”

“Well, has he even asked you?”

“No. He’s been asleep.” Steaming eggs bounced on the white plate. Regina wrinkled her nose at the few tiny specks of brown invading the yellow mounds. So much for the special breakfast, I planned.

I use eggs as a metaphor for their relationship throughout My Way to You. I found it to be a useful comparison to Simon and Regina’s relationship and how they learn to love each other despite the world.

Authors can embrace metaphors and give their stories depth and color.

Read about the other authors’ metaphors by clicking the link below.

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