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Monday, August 6, 2012

Intentional Symbolism

I continue to write a short background story on Ryndaria that is important to the overall history of the world and relates to Trezl's story.  As I write, I question how I use symbolism in my writing.

I discussed in an earlier post my desire to tackle themes like faith, politics, and technology with stories in a fantasy setting so I am drawn to using allegory, metaphor and other symbolism.  Honestly, I am nervous going down this path with little experience writing this way.

How should a writer approach intentional symbolism in fiction?  How can I make sure that symbolic elements of the story are effective? 

I found one helpful blog post here.  The writer makes several interesting points on effective symbolic items in stories. 

First, define them ahead of time.  If they are added in haphazardly they will lose their power or even be a distraction.  I like this advice as it confirms my thought that symbolism needs to be intentional.  I noticed in my outline there are elements of the story that could be symbolic.  I need to know what I am going to do with those elements so they do not confuse.

Second, do not use too many or you end up with allegory.  I guess if I end up wanting allegory, I should make everything symbolic? 

How have you used symbolism in your writing?  What has worked, and what hasn't?