Symbolism and Motif Entry: Coming of Age

Every day we interact with objects, places and sensations that affect the way we think and feel. This can be used to the writer’s advantage by planting symbols in the reader’s path to reinforce a specific message, feeling or idea.

Look at the setting and the character’s state of mind, and then think about what you want the reader to see. Is there a descriptive symbol or two that works naturally within the scene to help foreshadow an event or theme, or create insight into the character’s emotional plight?

In Nature:

Blooming flowers
Well-rooted plants
New leaves
Sturdy saplings
Summer
Sun at noon…

In Society:

Vegetables ready to be picked
Healthy plants/gardens
Children independently walking home from school
Holding hands
The first kiss
Puberty…

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Coming of Age. Some are more powerful than others. A bird leaving the nest is a strong symbol and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a secret kept from parents might not foreshadow A Coming of Age on its own.Let the story’s tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.

Symbolism is a universal language that can add great depth and meaning to your story.

So you can reap the full benefit of this powerful tool, we’ve expanded the entire collection by 70% and integrated it into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry comes with a long list of ideas for symbols and motifs, and we’ve included popular symbolism examples from literature and movies, as well. These entries have also been cross-referenced for easy searchability across all our other thesauri. To see a free sample of the updated Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus along with our other collections, pop on over and register at One Stop.

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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14 Responses to Symbolism and Motif Entry: Coming of Age

  1. Pingback: Symbolism Thesaurus Entry Collection | Writers Helping Writers

  2. I like “braces” as a detail to help the reader know it is a coming of age tale. I wanted braces so bad when I was a little kid. I thought that made you a teenager!

  3. Jody Hedlund says:

    I like the idea of being more intentional with each word we use, and really thinking about why we’re describing something or picking that certain thing to highlight. Great thoughts!

  4. ooh…enjoyed this thesaurus entry! thanks!

    jeannie
    The Character Therapist

  5. Very interesting…thanks for the reminder!

  6. Paul C says:

    I like the small creek swelling… Complementary images throughout…

  7. Oh, I once read a passage detailed with lush descriptions of over-ripe vegetation. It was right on the balance of disgusting and intriguing. In dying their is a rebirth, and to move to a new age is to leave one behind.

  8. Lisa_Gibson says:

    You always have the most awesomely useful posts. You’re blog is a must for writers. Coming of age is a great idea to post about.

  9. Coming of Age – great idea! Another brilliant post, Angela. 🙂

  10. Great post Angela. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Bish Denham says:

    This is so perfect because it’s spring! A lovely post.

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