Figures of Speech, by Sally Apokedak

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Please welcome Sally Apokedak as our guest today. She was an instructor at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference. Although I didn’t meet Sally, I liked the presentation she gave on FIGURES of SPEECH and thought you might like it too. She’s sharing it with us today.

Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. To visit her website click HERE.

She’s been studying, reviewing, and marketing children’s books, as well as giving writing instruction for a dozen years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour she was privileged to work with best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale. She is presently the YA contributor to Novel Rocket and she teaches at general market and Christian Writers’ conferences across the country.

Sally is interested in representing authors who write children’s books from picture books to young adult (Christian or general market), nonfiction for all ages (Christian or general market), and women’s novels (Christian market).  To find out what Sally is looking for and how to submit to her, see below. 

Figures of Speech

Compares two items that are not alike most ways, but which are alike in some way. Metaphors state that something is something else—

Envy IS a green-eyed monster

Compares two items that are not alike most ways, but which are alike in some way. Similes differ from metaphors in that they use the words “as” or “like” to compare items—

His throat was AS parched AS the desert.

Her heart was beating LIKE a kettle drum.

Repetition of beginning consonants on stressed syllables—

Big bad Bubba Bazooka and his band of bloody bullies

Ending one clause with one word and repeating that word at the start of the next clause—

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Starting several clauses with the same words—

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge?

Ending several clauses with the same words—

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child

Rhyming of vowel sounds inside of words—

She served us pea pods, all soft and mushy.

Repetition of consonants, not at the start of words, but within words—

She wore an itty bitty bikini.  I was finding the underwear in the drawer. I listed my postings in alphabetical order.

A rhyme between an internal word and an ending word in a line of poetry—

With two hairy shins and three hairy chins,

My darlin’ is rightly attractive.

I declared my love sweetly and she walloped me neatly

And rendered me slightly inactive.

Words that make the sound they are describing—

cling, clang, zip, zap, wham, blam

Inverted word order—

“Strong is the force, so fight you must,” said Yoda.

Laying out sentences with the most important thing coming first and the least important thing coming last—

He killed her and he left her lying on the side of the road.

Laying out sentences with the least important thing coming first and the most important thing coming last—

He left her lying on the side of the road after he killed her.

Repeated words in successive clauses that fall in transposed order—

I love Harold and Harold loves me.

Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

Contrasting opposites—

Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me

Three words used to express one thought—

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.


The kitchen was hotter than Arizona in the summer.

Playing something down—

Arizona can get a little warm in the summer, I must admit.

Balancing two parts of a sentence—

so on a very basic level—

He wore the black shoes, the green socks, and the orange cufflinks.

He wore black shoes, green socks, and orange cufflinks.

and on a more sophisticated level—

The law of the Lord is perfect,  reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

 Find out more at

Submit to Sally at

What Sally is Looking For

Picture Books:  I’m looking for quirky, fun, characters and delightful language, with lines that roll and rhymes that rock. Conflict and growth for characters always helps.

Middle Grade Books:  I’d love some funny boy books. Boy scientists and boy geniuses are great. I love fantasies, but really want anything with a strong voice.

YA Books:  Fantasy is my favorite, and if there’s romance, I love it even more. I still like dystopian, and fairy tales. I love mysteries.

Nonfiction For All Ages:  I’m interested in devotional books, Christian living, science for young children, and biography. But you may try me on anything.

Adult Inspirational:  I’m looking for adult books for the Christian market, particularly fantasy and romantic suspense.

What Sally is Not Looking For

Any picture books that rhyme where all the rhyming words are one or two syllables, are not going to be right for me, I’m pretty sure.

I am also not a huge fan of issue books and preachy stories. Supernatural books, with angels, demons, or any mix thereof, will probably not catch my fancy. I’m not salivating for werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fairies, or zombies. I’m not into dark and angsty books. I like endings that are full of hope.


How many of these FIGURES of SPEECH did you know?

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  1. Sounds like good stuff. Thanks. I may try to contact her in the future re. my children’s stuff.

  2. Hey, thanks for posting my stuff! The Florida Christian Writers Conference was wonderful, wasn’t it? Next time let’s be sure to meet up.

    I see now that itty and bitty are just rhyming words. I was under a bit of pressure time-wise when I put this together. So what would be good examples of consonance? Maybe… I was finding underwear in the drawer? the ND in finding and under? Or… I listed my postings in alphabetical order. The ST in listed and postings?

    • Hi Sally,
      I’ll change out those consonances for you. Thanks for being our guest today and yes, I’d love to meet you some time.
      There were too many awesome courses to take, and I couldn’t decide which ones to sit in on, but that’s why it was great to get the notes from all the classes.

  3. Well, dang. I thought I knew my figures of speech, but anadiplosis? Hendiatris? Those sound like something I need to get a doctor to look at. 🙂

    (Thanks for the lesson, Sally, and thanks for sharing, Michelle. It’s always a good day when I learn something new.)

    • Hi Cathy–
      I had never heard of those words either. You’re right. They do sound like diseases, fatal ones. Ha!
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Yes, they do sound awful. Of course we use most of these without knowing it. I think it’s good to put them in purposely, though. I mean, look at how many are in the Bible? If God used them to make his message more memorable, I guess I should use them too.

      • Joann Claypoole says:

        Thank you, Sally. I loved reading this. While encouraging, it reminds me I need to spend even more time editing. So glad I had the pleasure of meeting you at the CWC at Lake Yale. Thank you for requesting to read books 1&2 of the DoveStories series. I hope to hear from you soon. 🙂

  4. Hey, Joann, thanks for stopping by.

    I’m terribly behind in my reading just now. Sorry for the wait.

Please share your random thoughts.


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