Quick Links: Motifs and Symbols and Themes – Oh My!

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Literary devices are the spice of books. They add interest and depth to a story. Laura Drake explains the differences and gives some examples over at Writers In The Storm

We just finished binge watching Penny Dreadful on TV and loved how the theme seemed to be that those who sought immortality didn’t find peace, but those who died did. What is your favorite literary device example?

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Motifs and Symbols and Themes – Oh My!

June 24th, 2016 By Laura Drake

Symbolism is as symbolism does

Symbolism is as symbolism does

I love almost all literary devices, but the three in this post’s title are my favorites. I’m sure you heard of them, and have probably used them in your writing, but you may not know the definitions, so here they are:

Motif is any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story. Through its repetition, a motif can help produce other narrative (or literary) aspects such as theme.

Theme is what the author is trying to tell the reader. For example, the belief in the ultimate good in people, or that things are not always what they seem. This is often referred to as the “moral of the story.”

Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.

Thematic Patterning  means the insertion of a recurring motif in a narrative.

I’ve used all of them in my books: An ugly scar, to remind the readers of the protagonist’s guilt and shame (Nothing Sweeter). A cowgirl hat to signify the protagonist’s reluctance to change (Sweet on You). White roses, to remind a mother of her grief (The Sweet Spot). Even a motorcycle, to show a character’s running from her past (Her Road Home).

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