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How to Write a Hyperbole


Hyperbole is a very effective tool for authors as they can elevate the prose with a wide range of diverse phrases and descriptions. They can be written in different ways. The author needs to identify exactly where he wants to use the hyperbole and the context. The easiest one is to write in absolute words like never, always, worst, best, everything, nothing and similar words as they are used in exaggerating the situation described by the author. Another way of writing hyperbole is by stretching the attribute to hyperbolize something funny. A typical example is – the entire city came to know that he fought with his wife. While it implied that the fact that the couple fought is known to many, where hyperbole is created by stretching the information to the entire city. The most acclaimed examples of hyperbole however are those that are written by stretching the intermediate-level ones with a new thing. These are quite similar to similes and metaphors which also follow the same principle to strike a difference. While writing a hyperbole, an author should keep in mind that they are constructed with the purpose of not being taken literally. The boy kicked the ball very high can be replaced with hyperbole and read like the boy kicked the ball so high that it touched the cloud. Also, an author should be cautious that he doesn’t use overused hyperboles. The girl ran faster than lightning is a typical example of this category. An author also has to be cautious that he gets so tempted on using hyperbole that he suppresses important facts.


When to Write a Hyperbole


It is when the author feels that the use of a hyperbole shall add spice to the content and the image or character shall be benefited from the use of one- an author may decide to write a hyperbole. The author first should have clarity on which elements of an image or character is most important and thereafter compile a list of illustrative comparison as a set of tools from which he can choose the best. Hence, ideally, an author should write a hyperbole only when he is fully prepared and confident about using one and knows the hyperbole shall fit into the content naturally and will not look imposing. Normally, an author prefers to use hyperbole when he is writing something humorous or conversational, as its use makes the statement more amusing or dramatic. It is a tool strictly for fiction and non-fictional wrings like songs, essays, poems or stories but not for serious writing. Hence, hyperboles should be avoided if one is writing a research paper or technical writing.


Hyperbole Definition and Examples


  • Hyperbole is a figure of speech that brings you under the spotlight by deliberately exaggerating a part of the statement and has been spicing up the languages for centuries. The word originated from the Greek word ‘huperbolḗ,’ which means ‘to throw beyond’. They are used to add flavour to the writing by highlighting the difference between two things and emphasizing a point.  They are very effective tools for literary writers and can elevate a prose and add a huge diversity of phrases and descriptions. They are rhetorical devices as well as a type of figurative language. Hyperboles are key components in satires- satirists use them to demonstrate the extremities in events and opinions they are trying to focus upon through humour. Shakespeare has used hyperbole many times to bring his words to life. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo says about Juliet- “the brightness of her cheek would shame those stars”. His contemporary poet John Donne writes in his poem The Sun Rising- “she’s all states, and all princes, I”. in Sanskrit literature, we find Bhatrihari mentions “A man may tear a jewel”. In modern literature, Flannery O’Connor in Parker’s Back- “ The skin on her face was as thin and drawn as tight as the skin of the onion and her eyes were grey and sharp like the points of two picks”. In his Old Times on the Mississippi, Mark Twain dramatizes a feeling of helplessness by writing “I was quaking from head to foot and could have hung my hat on my eyes, they stuck out so far”. To inject sharp humour, one of the most celebrated authors of the last 100 years, Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes in Living to Tell the Tale –“At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century”.


What is the Effect of Hyperbole on the Reader?


Hyperboles are taken by the authors as just an exaggeration where the author uses these to emphasise a point. The readers are quite aware of the fact these exaggerations and claims are mentioned to emphasize the traits of the characters and are not to be taken literally. However, few readers consider the written words as gospel truths and there are chances of them getting misled- as they forget the basic meaning of hyperbole being a figure of speech made with extravagant exaggerations only.


Why Use Hyperbole in Writing


  • By using hyperbole, an author can turn a common feeling into something with a lasting impression. It allows an author to present something common more intensely. The use of hyperbole adds contrast as a normal thin Hyperbole is a figure of speech that brings you under the spotlight by deliberately exaggerating a part of the statement. They are used to highlight the difference between two things and to emphasize a point. With help of hyperbole, a normal thing can be described as giving extra stress, which at the end of the day grabs the attention of the reader and makes the literary work a long-lasting effect in the memory. Constant exaggerations may bore the audience- hence hyperboles are the quickest and easiest way to create an unreliable narrator. They are figures of speech that will influence the relationship between the author and the reader.


Relationship between Narrator and Reader


  • The narrator is the person who delivers the story to the reader. He narrates to the reader things that the character is not aware of and could not perceive. The narrator can even break from the present and take the readers to the future to unveil some details or share some backstories. The narrator may narrate the whole story to the reader in first person and events that can be experienced through the mind and emotion of one of the characters. The narrator has the option of telling the reader what the characters are thinking or feeling. A narrator, when narrates in first person at times creates a sense of trust and bonding with the reader and attracts them into the story involving them in the story mentally. If the narrator shares the story considering the reader as a confidant, the reader starts caring more for the protagonist in the story and be a part of his/her struggle.




  • Screenwriting is the process of writing scripts for the screenplay medium which the audience sees in form of feature films, television productions or participates in form of video games. This is a unique process and different from writing novels, poems, or essays, It involves writing the movements, actions, dialogues and expressions of all the characters in a screenplay. This format is different from the format of authors writing books as this format is for expressing the story visually. All other mediums may include unlimited contextual detail or omniscient perspectives, but screenwriting strictly rely on visual communication- hence, it is extremely important to keep in mind that each action looks as if it has been written.


Screenwriting is primarily of three types


  • Speculative Screenwriting- this is the most common one. They are written independently and not commissioned by a production company or a film studio.
  • Commissioned Screenwriting- in this type, commissioned scripts to involve a hired writer being brought to an established idea to be brought to life.
  • Feature Assignment- they are the most sought after and here, the writer is brought under contract with a production company or a studio for developing and writing the script.