Literary Devices: Learn Common Techniques and Elements

Get the hang of common literary techniques and literary elements.

Previously, we discussed literary devices to help you get even more familiar with the English language. Needless to say, this helps you with everyday communication and transcription work.

This time, we’re going to elaborate further as we dive deeper into literary devices.

Literary devices? Literary techniques? Literary elements? Aren’t they all the same?

They may look comparable at first, but each has its different purpose.

Literary Devices, Literary Techniques, and Literary Elements

According to Good Sensory Learning, literary devices are often used by writers for creative writing so that the audience can visualize, interpret, and analyze the pieces.

There are two kinds of strategies—literary techniques and literary elements.

Literary techniques help the audience to visualize and understand the story by using creative words or phrases. This includes figurative language like what we have previously discussed.

On the other hand, literary elements are different components that help completes the story.

While there are several literary techniques and elements, we’ll focus on a few that you will likely encounter as you work on audio files or in everyday conversations and literature.

Common Literary Techniques

Repetition

Like what it says, the speaker or writer repeats the word or phrase.

LiteraryTerms says that it’s a way to add emphasis and help develop style, tone, and rhythm.

There are different kinds of repetition—sound, and writing.

Since you’ll be transcribing audio files, let’s discuss the repetition of sounds further.

There are three types:

Alliteration: The initial letter’s sound repeats. Keep in mind that alliteration does not depend on letters but sounds. So, if you’re familiar with tongue twisters, those are good examples of alliteration.

Consonance: These are repeated consonant sounds (non-vowel sounds). They can be anywhere in a group of words but are usually found in the end or middle of the stressed syllable.

Zachary snoozed when he heard jazz music.”

Assonance: The repetition of vowel sounds. The words need to be near enough to each other that similar vowel sounds are noticeable.

“Hey, wait! Don’t blame me! Kate and James are the perpetrators!”

Anthropomorphism

Familiar with The Lion King? The way the animal characters are portrayed here is an excellent example of anthropomorphism.

via @disney on Giphy

According to LiteraryDevices, anthropomorphism attributes human characteristics, emotions, and behaviors to animals or other non-human things.

Now, you might confuse this with personification as they may appear similar.

In other words, personification is an act to give objects or animals human characteristics, while anthropomorphism aims to make an object or animal behave and act like a human being.

Common Literary Elements

Diction

Self-Publishing cites that diction is all about word choice. The speaker or the author helps establish a distinct voice and style through diction.

You might confuse diction and dialect.

Diction is the choice of words to help the writer or speaker effectively convey their idea or story.

On the other hand, dialect refers to spoken language that may vary from a region or community. It also reflects in terms of pronunciation, spelling, and style of speech.

There are four common types of diction.

Formal diction, wherein speakers or writers use a sophisticated or formal language.

“Hello, young woman. It is a great pleasure to make your acquaintance. How are you feeling today?”

Informal diction leans towards a more casual conversation, like what we do in everyday conversation.

“Hey, kid. Nice to meet you. What’s up?”

Colloquial diction is when words are commonly used in a specific region, community, or period.

New England colloquialism: My colleague is wicked smart!

For some, wicked can be associated with something vile or evil, but for New Englanders, it’s an alternative word for “very.”

Southern colloquialism: “She’s as pretty as a peach.”

This is considered a high compliment since Southern states are known for their peaches.

Midwest colloquialism: “Get a pop from the fridge.”

In the Midwest, the call “soda” as “pop”

Slang diction is when trendy words are created and used. Texting can be considered slang.

“OMG! I can’t believe that you spent the whole day binge-watching that Netflix show!”

Mood 

According to Writers Edit, the mood is usually referred to as the atmosphere where it creates an emotional setting for the audience through words and descriptions.

Writers often use mood adjectives to describe emotions or feelings. The mood can heighten the audience’s emotion while reading about the character, and no specific dialogues are needed.

Tone

Sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it.

When you’re working on audio files, you can easily understand the tone of the speaker.

via @cbc on Giphy

Tone is more on how the speaker feels toward the subject. The character’s tone translates to the audience’s mood via specific dialogue.

The tone can be formal, informal, sarcastic, cheerful, etc.

Karen: “We are going to Disneyland.”

Jacob: “Wow, Mom! That’s great!!!”

In this example, Jacob’s response is cheerful.

Karen: “I’m sorry. We can’t go to Disneyland.”

Jacob: “Yeah, great! I knew this would happen.”

In this instance, Jacob’s response is sarcastic.

The way we say things can change our tones and, therefore, how people perceive our words.

Over to You

Scribie transcribers are professionals who customers rely on providing accurate transcripts.

Whether you’re new to transcription or can work with your eyes closed, it wouldn’t hurt to learn new skills and strive to be better at what you do.

We hope that this guide will help you provide excellent service and hone your communication and transcription skills.

Do you have other tips that you can share with your fellow transcribers? Let’s continue the discussion on Slack.

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