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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Author Insight: Literary Devices

What is your favorite literary device?

"Plot twists!" - Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood.

"I like the idea of similes, but I can't honestly say I use them that much. I don't think I have one specific literary device that I once often." - Alexandra Diaz, author of Of All the Stupid Things.

"Voice is incredibly important to me. It's what differentiates writers, as well as characters within a novel. All my favorite authors have very distinct and original voices, and they don't try to sound like anyone else. They have worked to develop their own voices, and they sound like THEMSELVES. I also love a good plot twist. I don't like to see what's coming, unless it was the author's intent. Some books just kick you in the gut or break your heart. I'll take that over a perfect, unrealistic ending any day. Perfect is overrated." - Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

"Oh gosh! I’ve never thought about that. Probably metaphor. A good metaphor can stop your heart." - Lauren Oliver, author of Before I Fall.

"Lyrical writing." - Tiffany Trent, author of the Hallowmere series.

"Voice. A book can have a great plot and characters, but if the voice doesn't grab me, I just can't get into it. I'd rather read a book with mediocre plot and characters but a great voice than the other way around." - Chelsea Campbell, author of Rise of Renegade X.

"Is it totally lame to say none? I know nothing about writing, so I don’t even know what literary devices there are. If you find any in my books, please let me know." - Lisa Desrochers, author of Personal Demons.

"I love motifs--probably a little too much. I love introducing an image and then seeing that visual echoed thematically in different scenes and different ways. I blame this on reading To Kill A Mockingbird in high school." - Brenna Yovanoff, author of The Replacement.

"Symbolism, foreshadowing, foil characters, leitmotifs…I love literary devices, lived on them for many years of studying literature. All except Deus ex machina (basically, a god-like character who shows up and fixes everything), which I think is quite unfair to the reader! Symbols are probably my favorite (labyrinths, spiders, doors, birds) - I had to cut a few because they were beginning to crowd each other. And I do love cliffhanger chapter endings. I hope when you read Tell Me A Secret, you won’t be able to stop." - Holly Cupala, author of Tell Me a Secret.

"I have a shameful addiction to cliffhanger chapter endings." - Rhonda Hayter, author of The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams.

"I love cliffhangers! But even with those, there can be too much of a good thing." - Denise Jaden, author of Losing Faith.

"Sensory images. Trying to appeal to all the sense of my reader." - Amy Brecount White, author of Forget-Her-Nots.

"I like a Prologue, which many consider a writer no-no. I can’t help it, though; I think a short, teaser Prologue can draw a reader in. At least it does for me!" - Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder.

"Although readers will accuse me of loving cliffhangers (which you learn to use when writing serials like cell phone novels) I'll admit to also enjoying red herrings and alliteration at least as much." - Shannon Delany, author of 13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale.

"I'm a sucker for the subtext." - Swati Avashti, author of Split.
"My favorite to read is cliffhanger. I think Cassie Clare in The Mortal Instruments is QUEEN of them. My favorite to write is the nature metaphor. In every one of my projects, a character is associated, either subtly or boldly, with an element or aspect of nature." - Victoria Schwab, author of The Near Witch.

Stop by Thursday to find out what literary devices the rest of the authors love!


  1. Very interesting answers! Thanks to all the authors for discussing their preferences, and thank you for putting this 'Author Insignts' series together. :)

  2. Oh, I agree with Leah Cypess. Plot twists are the best, really. Especially smart ones. :)

  3. Lisa Desrochers comment is brilliant!!!!! :D :P

    Good post!

  4. I love to hear what these authors have to say. Great post!

    As for myself, I am a sucker for a good cliffhanger.

  5. Plot twists! Yay!