Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Doomsday

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:

Fault line shift
Volcano eruption
Super cell storms (tornadoes, severe winds, lightning, etc)
Comets & solar events (eclipses, appearance of a black hole, solar flare, etc)
Mass Extinction…

In Society:

Billboard/handheld signs declaring doomsday
Street corner preachings
Increased church attendance
People flocking to churches, police stations, hospitals
Barricaded buildings & homes
Traffic jams on city exit routes…

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Doomsday. Some are more powerful than others. Overflowing hospitals with medical tents set up in parking lots is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, a single abandoned car on a roadway may not foreshadow Doomsday 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.


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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17 Responses to Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Doomsday

  1. xproverbs31x says:

    This can also be referred to end of days. There’s something about doomsday that gets people talking.

  2. Karen Lange says:

    As always, good and helpful info. You’re a treasure. Thanks so much.
    Happy weekend,

  3. Paul C says:

    Hi Angela, I just provided a link for this wonderfully,helpful post.

  4. Thanks everyone for the comments–I’m glad this helps!

    Shannon, please do share the Bookshelf Muse with your students! I’m happy to know this will help in your classroom as well as with your writing. 🙂

  5. WOW this is a very helpful post. I’ll have to check back if ever my work feels a little dull

  6. Angela,

    Is it okay if I use your blog with my composition and English students this year? It’s really one of the best writing tools out there. 🙂

  7. Jeff King says:

    Choice of words does dramatically affect the way a reader see the world or actions we try to convey.

    Thx for the examples

  8. Paul C says:

    You have provided a very rich resource of images here.

  9. Melissa Gill says:

    What is it about doomsday that gets everybody so fired up? Me, I love it. And I love this list!

  10. Useful for a short story I’m working on, thanks!

  11. Angela says:

    I know some people will associate smaller things or use personal experiences as a predictor that doomsday is not far off…

    Living in Europe we see a lot of protests that include tent cities to “bring home” the realities in other parts of the world that we foget about as we go through our daily routines.

  12. Matthew, Thanks for the add!

    Susanne, it is sad to think about isn’t it? That’s actually why I posted it now rather than wait for all the 2012 hype to kick in. I don’t want to add to it, freaking people out.

  13. Wow, what a list. Brings sadness to think about all this, but definitely brings images to mind when reading through the list.

  14. Matthew Rush says:

    Holy crap! Look at that building. Don’t forget shifting of magnetic poles or the earth’s axis.

  15. Thanks Tom! Nice to see you here. 🙂

    Bish–how could I forget? I’ll add it in! Thanks 🙂

  16. Bish Denham says:

    Excellent, though depressing…
    Mass extinctions comes to mind as a possible sign of doomsday.

  17. just a quick comment to say i genuinely appreciate this series. GREAT work!

    — Tom

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