Today we are going to take the stabilisers off one stage in that you will have a list of “linking qualities” to chose from.
Target Domain: Traffic
Possible Linking Qualities: It’s congested / It’s slow / Honking
Source Domain: ___
So your first job is to select a linking quality and think of something else that shares this quality. You then use this thing as your source domain, using its language world to describe “traffic”.
Traffic - Slow - Sleepless Night
Traffic is a sleepless night, slow as frozen molasses. The tick-tock of the clock slows each time I glance at it, until it aligns with the surrounding idling of exasperating engines. Each second takes a month to go to the next. The desire for a nightmare deepens, that would would at least mean some relief has been had. The blanket on, the blanket off, hot then cold, taillights flicker with anticipation. The pillow flips so rapidly there is no cold side left, and outside nothing changes. A break light ahead dims, excitement builds like a yawn, only to find that the driver has placed the car in park, only to find there will be no sleep in this minute. After hours of tossing and turning in this motorized mattress, should I accept it or should I try to force something different? Over thinking, overanalyzing never brings the warm loving touch or sleep. After a decade or so, I begin hearing doves coo-ing, morning has come: I’m still awake, unmoved, and disappointed. Maybe if I try to sync up my circadian cycle tomorrow, snuggle in earlier, breathing exercises: in-hold-out-then-out-again, maybe the commute will fall over me and grant me sweet dreams of destination.
Traffic - Honking - Influencer
A constant in big cities, destination your attention. Loudly trying to get your attention to merge their way into your psych, hoping for more clicks turning over more poisonous content than an engine running hot. The smell of plastic and artificial flavouring remains stagnant polluting the airways of the mind. The constant hold on their own ego horns turns into a hum, with an occasional change pinging onto your phone like a gun going off. Queues of overzealous traffic morph into a soup that burns the tongue and strains the eyes.
Traffic, sleepless nights and frozen molasses is a combo I would never think of in a million years! Really highlights the slow movement of it though! And the line about desires for nightmares deepen, very cool idea of desperation for sleep. Some really good lines in here well done!
I love the click bait reference and comparing it with hostile, inconsiderate drivers. The way the honking is so incessant it becomes a hum is really, really great (my favorite line here!), especially when contrasted by the occasional breaks in them like push alerts.
Traffic - Congested - Flu
The ailed traffic was blocked at every orifice. Occasionally, a tickling sneeze propels us frailly forward, the other times it doesn’t materialise at all, leaving us even more uncomfortable and agitated. One can only collapse back into the paralysed heap of exhaustion, trying to be wise enough not to fight such congestion. As we cough and sputter down the highway, a migraine of horns sound out their impatience as cars sweat away their idle fuel.
Very lovely stuff in here! I think we’re all getting the hang of this metaphor business. On a slight technical point, it reads to me more like an influencer being described as traffic than traffic being described as an influencer. But on second reading I can see you could see it other way - and this no way detracts from the quality of it, so well done.
This is really nice Tim! Another really well fitted mapping and so much to dive into in the sleepless night domain. Do you feel your writing is benefiting from this linking technique? Personally I’m finding reading about things from so many different palettes to be incredibly informative!
I love that starting line, saying that traffic has an illness is a great introduction. The alliterative “frailly forward” is also really strong, like a symptomatic person stumbling. I don’t know if you meant to, but “exhaustion” is a fun word because of vehicle “exhaust”. Really well done.
I feel like I benefit from all writing exercises. This particular series of linking ones, in my opinion, is a little less helpful than the prior ones, but still helps. I feel like anything that keeps us writing is beneficial and I truly appreciate all of your leadership in this. I think part of it is having the somewhat closed universe, but that is how we break out of our norms and get to some uncomfortable areas, and that is how we grow. Like the one yesterday, I had never really thought about gospel songs when writing before. But I thought about them for a few minutes yesterday in depth. I have heard that the best songwriters are really nothing more than people who make creative associations. Getting us out of our comfort zone is really the key. That is what I hope happens with some of our collabs on here
My legs rest impatiently in salty pools against slippery leather seats. I feel the back of my neck slowly burning. My windows are rolled down, begging for a cool breeze.
Traffic is barely moving and tempers are rising. Two cars ahead of me, an irritated game of chicken beings. One starts beeping their horn like an aggressive goose, dominantly squawking, and the shit starts flying. With ruffled feathers, engines start revving. Darting back and forth, tires squealing, and giving one another the bird, these two screech at one another, like a hen laying an oversized egg. My window squeaks as I roll it up… I’d rather die of heat than listen to these dodo’s.
I love the last line, what an attention getter! The beginning is strong, the sweating against leather is an especially specific image that invites us to feel with our skin, feel kind of disgusted, and smell the mixture as well. Your words certainly draw out that “impatient” and “fed up” feeling. The fighting geese/chicken allusion is great (and kind of funny, which brings in some tension breaking subtly). This is really well done!
Target Domain: Traffic
Possible Linking Qualities: It’s congested
Source Domain: Elevator
The man sat stalled on 22, searching for his opportunity as thick fumes of the unmaintained spewed around him. The others held firm lips and avoiding eyes while squeezing his chances between bumping elbows. Honking cries behind him push him into our comfort zones, pressing all the wrong buttons. My beckoning nod flips his frown and he settles in front of me. The markers count-down my air supply and traffic jerks me a round as it taunts me with openings promising solitude and all the fresh air.
I think the “cough and sputter down the highway” was a great mix of the illness and moving.
I felt as though the second part of tickling sneeze could have been more shown than told. Maybe something along the lines of “…frailly forward, the other times it remains trapped itching to escape.”
The first part of the opening statement made me laugh! That is wonderful playing on the source and target. Sitting stalled on floor 22 in an elevator, vs the car not moving on highway 22, really cool. The elevator has some really cool things to play with like the claustrophobic sense and shared air in a crowded small space with no escape. The pressing of all the wrong buttons is another great play on words, but I think that the honking kind of pulls you out of it. The jerking and opening are other great examples. This is really well written.
That’s a really good idea, thanks! I could really build upon that sensation of wanting to sneeze within the contents and structure of the writing. Keep building it up, keep that itch growing, and then eventually either release the tension or leave it as a frustrating anti-climax.