Symbols are around in most writing today. Take Divergent for example. If you ask a reader of the series, or even a watcher of the film, and they can probably tell you what the different factions are from a picture. And I bet even a non-Harry Potter fan could tell you about the lightening bolt and the Dark Mark!
When thinking about symbolism in your writing, you might first want to think about what you want it for. Do you want it to be for different establishments, such as the factions in Divergent? Do you want it to be as a symbol for the series as a whole – such as Harry’s lightening bolt – but not for the characters, or does it relate to one particular person, such as the black dog and Sirius Black.
Once you’ve decided, you need to create something original. If you look online and find a picture, you can probably manipulate it to make it your own work. Make it mean something. Going back to Divergent, we’ll take Abnegation, one of the factions. Their faction’s identity is based on helping others and not thinking of the self at all, so their symbol is linked hands – helping one another instead of the self. Think seriously when you make your symbol choices, but have some fun with it too. If you think there’s something humourous to be had – even if it’s only a private joke – why not put it in?
All you need to do now is discover where to put your symbol! Do you want the symbol to be described (like Percy Jackson), printed as a picture in the pages (like Harry Potter), or present on the front cover (like The Hunger Games)? Wherever you choose, just make sure it utilises the picture as much as possible!
Do you use symbols in your writing? What did you do with them?
Personally, I am terrible at using symbols. I really need to get better at it/do it more often! What about you?!