This also led to a discussion of the simile, where one member of our collective reflected on what she'd been taught:
Simile is less immediate, less connective--by adding those extra words ("like," "as") it imposes distance between the vehicle and the tenor. In some ways, it calls attention to itself as a device and takes the reader out of the moment, prevents the very connection it's trying to make. Perhaps that can be useful, though? Perhaps that distance, that removal, that interruption is a desirable thing in some circumstances?I had never really fully understood the aversion to simile my fellow MFAers had while actively in the program, but I can understand now; of course, I love the device, both metaphor and simile, and I adore personification, and beautiful verbs and lush language used with restraint. So there you have it. I do plan to scrub a few more likes from my ms., and probably body and one and maybe a night or two, but some of those words are so tender and right and shift in meaning, which is a critical experience of the reading.