Writing Tip for Today:
When considering the symbols in your work, keep these things in mind:
- Don't think about them while you write. Like subtext, symbols are likely to emerge after you've drafted your work, not as you write. These "deeper meanings" need to come from the deeper self (also known as "Muse," unconscious, creative seat). Trying to force symbols into your writing will probably sound forced.
- Do dream work. If you can't afford a therapist, myriad books on dream interpretation are out there. In writing, we want to appeal to the collective mind so that a connection forms between writer and reader. Find out what different symbols tend to mean. Keep a dream journal.
- Be subtle. A symbol is only as good as its discovery. If the writer shoves symbolic meaning down a reader's throat there is no discovery except the sudden urge to stop reading.
- Be Creative. Realize there is nothing new under the sun, but try to be as creative as you can. Same old ways to convey symbols will bore the reader. Be fresh.
- Don't mix too many symbols. Like metaphors, symbols are best kept clean and simple.