"Why you so sure the stone doesn't exist?" Yuki asked.

I took a sip from my glass, then raised my eyes. A moth was hovering around the wall lamp. Yuki was right: why I was so certain about it? True, the idea of the Flying Stone was as shapeless as the insect's shadow dancing on the ceiling. But what if there was something actually real casting it?

Basically, the analogy is comparing the idea or possibility of the Flying Stone to the shadow of the moth, and the moth with the actual stone.

Is the analogy effective and clear? If not, how to improve it?

  • 1
    Write “a sip from my glass”, not “a sip of my glass” (which would be a bit of glass). Or better, “I sipped from my glass, then...” Jul 31, 2013 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Yes, the metaphor is quite vivid and gets the point across maybe even a little too clearly: if you see the shadow, you do know there is a moth casting it. If you hear a story, you may still believe it's entirely made-up or a result of some confusion. Then, still, this would create the impression of the protagonist's conviction that yes, the stone is true and the persistence of the story is the proof (the matter whether the conviction is correct aside, that's a vivid image of a personal hunch.)

On an unrelated note...

In "The Plague" by Albert Camus, there's a character, Joseph Grand. He writes a novel. He wants the novel to be absolutely perfect - he wants it to be so great the publisher would say "Hats off, gentlemen!" the day he reads the book. Grand spent years writing that book. He got as far as:

One fine morning in the month of May an elegant young horsewoman might have been riding a handsome sorrel mare along the flowery avenues of the Bois de Boulogne.

He never got past polishing that first sentence and making it as perfect as he could. When the book ends, he's still polishing that single sentence.

How long have you been writing about that Flying Stone by now?

  • 1
    I wrote it a few months ago. Then worked in other projects to let it "cool down." Now I'm just editing the parts I'm unsatisfied with.
    – wyc
    Jul 31, 2013 at 9:37
  • @AlexandroChen: Ah, okay. That is fine.
    – SF.
    Jul 31, 2013 at 10:38
  • First sentence is spot on. The analogy could perhaps be softened, in some way, for example by using multiple insects (less specific than a moth), and emphasising the fleeting nature of the shadows. Or something.
    – naught101
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:10

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