A metaphor has the same function as a simile, but the comparison between objects is implicit, meaning there is no 'like' or 'as' used to signal the comparison.
Here's an example of a metaphor from good old Shakespeare: 'All the world's a stage and the men and women merely players.' Rather than saying life is just like a play, he compares the world to where a play is acted out.
The warm sun brightly shone on my face and greeted me, 'Good afternoon'.' Based on this paragraph, where is the author? Thanks to the five senses, you can gather that he or she is just waking up from what seems like a really peaceful nap in a hammock on a beach somewhere. Based on the description, we can see waves hitting the shore as the tide comes in, hear the water as it hits the sand, smell the salty air, and feel the warm sun.
See how the senses use concrete things we've all probably experienced to some degree in our own lives to help you visualize a new scene?
Really, the only rule is to make sure you describe your subject as vividly as possible, using the five senses and showing versus telling.
There are, however, a few ways you can organize your descriptive essay to make it even easier for the reader to follow what you're saying and visualize your subject.
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When you hear the word 'describe,' what does it mean to you?
For most people, describing is a way of illustrating something with words.