Symbolism Entry: Friendship and Camaraderie

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:

A wolf pack
A herd of cows
Horses grazing together in a pasture
Rabbits grazing
Flocks of birds
Otters frisking in a river…

In Society:

A campfire
A friendly neighborhood bar or coffee shop
A braid (multiple pieces bound together)
A friendship knot
Clasped hands…

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with friendship or camaraderie. Some are more powerful than others. A group of animals is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, cowboys could stand for a number of different things and not foreshadow friendship 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.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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21 Responses to Symbolism Entry: Friendship and Camaraderie

  1. Great post, as always. Now I need to get caught up on my blog reading so I can check out the upcoming unveiling.

  2. Great stuff. I especially like the braid idea.

  3. Gerb says:

    I love what you have compiled thus far and I’m excited to see what you have in store for us next!

  4. Great note to end on! I can’t wait to see what’s unveiled next week!

  5. Plus, there’s a rule of three. Somehow we’re supposed to work these symbols in three times for them to resonate with the reader? I’m working on figuring all that out.

  6. I second what Angela said. It’s been wonderful meeting and getting to know so many of you.

    Sorry if I freaked you out with the FINAL post, lol. Great bloggers never die, you know. They just go on and on and on until you kind of wish they’d keel over already ;).

  7. Plus, there’s a rule of three. Somehow we’re supposed to work these symbols in three times for them to resonate with the reader? I’m working on figuring all that out.

  8. Hi Angela & Becca –

    I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up for us in The Bookshelf Muse kitchen. 🙂


  9. ((hugging back)) I can’t wait to see the great unveiling!!! 🙂

  10. ralfast says:

    The last one? Say it isn’t so! Well, I await for the revival! 😀

  11. Robin_Lucas says:

    Can’t wait to hear the exciting news!

  12. I think it’s very appropriate to finish off this thesaurus with an entry of friendship. I hope everyone knows just how much Becca and I appreciate their support & good tidings!

    >>>group hug<<< Angela

  13. Bish Denham says:

    Congratulations of finishing one and starting another! Looking forward to finding out what it’s going to be on.

    So…when are you going to put all these into book form? Hmmmmmmm?

  14. E. Arroyo says:

    I love these posts. Can’t wait to see where you take us. Thanks!

  15. Looking forward to seeing where your leadership take us.

  16. When I first started to read this, my heart sunk at the idea of your blog ending but I’m glad it’s only the symbolism thesaurus and that a new one will be posted. I would miss you too much otherwise. Yay!! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us, it’s like entering a candy store, never knowing what treat you might find.

  17. Thank you! I love themes of friendship. And now I’m pictures a mg story and suddenly a herd of deer cross the road. I know. Wouldn’t happen but it cracked me up.

  18. Can’t wait to see what the new one is. 🙂 Now, you need to get all of these in a book.

  19. Whew, the title of this post scared me! What would I do without the symbolism thesaurus?!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Final? I hope not! Your thesaurus and symbolism entries are priceless! They have been very helpful!
    Thank you so much! Please keep it up!

  21. Love your work, you guys! Thanks for all the inspiration 🙂

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