Monday, August 15, 2011

Confessions of a symbolism junkie

The first step is admitting it—right? Okay…I love symbolism.

Am I weird? Am I the only one?

I love symbolism so much that my favorite book in the bible is—Isaiah. I’ve spent years studying it. The thought makes me giddy :) I don’t say this to brag (who brags about something like that?) I just wanted you to know just how bad it is.

So here is my question: Do people still use symbolism in their writing? Do you?

I do. My WIP is full of symbolism. Character symbolism. Setting symbolism. Action symbolism. Item symbolism. Color symbolism. I hope I’ve left enough clues so that symbolism junkies like me will figure it out and it will add to the story. If not, I’ve tried to make the symbolism not too in your face.

Symbolism has many different forms: Metaphor, Patterns, Literary Mirrors, Signs, Symbols, Allegory, Motif, Archetype. Symbolism needs to be grounded in something relatable. You can’t just attach anything together—acorns = despair or chocolate milk = old age. No one will get that.

I say let’s bring symbolism back. If we all do it, maybe my book club won’t stare blankly at me when I want to talk about what the color red means in Jane Eyre :)

What do you say? Is everyone in?



Deana said...

I'm with you Angie...not about Isaiah being my fav book in the bible because no matter how much I study it, it is still so hard for me to get:)
But I am with you on bringing it back. I would love to my writing to be that cool, but I don't know if I'M that cool:) I'm glad you are!

Anonymous said...

oooo I so totally agree - am a symbolism junky too! That's why I did my degree in English.

So much so, that my whole MS is an allegory! Wahoo! I loves it.

Symbolism is about realising that life is about more than what you see. Many of our actions are metaphors in real life. For example, I like to run for exercise because often I'm desperate to run away and break free. : )

Keep at the symbolism - because it wouldn't be portraying real life without it.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Ha! I don't know a lot about symbolism. I wish I did, but I've never gotten into it. I'm glad you like it though! Someday I'll figure it out! lol :)

E.R. King said...

I love me some symbolism. Isn't it so much more fun to IMPLY something and let your reader decide? Love it! BTW, good for you for loving Isaiah. We have on okay relationship, but I'm working on making it better. LOL!

Abby said...

I LOVE symbolism, but I must admit, I am not as knowledgeable about it as you. I should work on it in my writing more. I do it a little, but I should do it more. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sara Bulla said...

Let's give Symbolism a chance! I was on a date long ago and confided in him that I loved 'A Separate Peace' because it was so full of layers and layers of meaning. Needless to say, that relationship didn't pan out. I WANT to love Isaiah...still working on that one. But I'm with you sista. And your book is already well on it's way to a classic, chuck full of symbolism! :)

j. littlejohn said...

symbolism is good, but i've always felt like it's the topping on the ice cream, the most important stuff are the basics

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