Today I have the author of The Light of Asteria, Elizabeth Isaacs with us to talk about symbolism and imagery! If you would like to read my review of The Light of Asteria or enter my giveaway for the book go HERE!
Playing with Symbolism and Imagery
It’s an affliction, really … this idea of symbolism and imagery. It’s one I’ve had for years, yet I’ve never understood how much it affected me until I started working on The Light of Asteria.
Symbolism has been around since the Greek and Roman times, but didn’t actually grow in popularity until the mid 1800’s. I won’t bore you with the details, but the gist of it is that absolute truths were better communicated indirectly, that suggestion was a stronger way of expression than reality. Symbolism makes Tolkien’s ring an unholy temptation, Poe’s Lenore elusive, and Shakespeare’s winter so discontent. It’s absolutely one of my favorite aspects of writing.
Originally, I wrote The Light of Asteria for my daughter Kate. It was meant for her alone, and so symbolism was my playground. I loved the fact that Gavin’s eyes were of the same texture as the gems that biblically represented the essence of life. Or that the only way to Kailmeyra’s portal was through water, meaning all who entered must first be washed clean, which is the very cornerstone of baptism. It was no coincidence that both Gavin and Nora lived in the mountains. Biblically, mountains represent the Kingdom of God. Some symbols are obvious (dark represents evil, light represents good, etc) but others are so subtle I doubt anyone will catch them. My content editor calls it a party in my head. 🙂
Imagery is the technique of using the reader’s senses to respond to a scene. Metaphors, similes, and descriptive language are just some of the ways writers paint vivid pictures with words. If well written, the use of imagery immerses the reader, allowing them to lose themselves in the story. I’m a sensory person by nature. I notice the scent of the air, the way the light streams through a window, or how the whippoorwill’s call glides up before the pitch falls away. This is the very reason my writing desk faces a wall, and I have to have complete silence. We write what we know, and so, to me, it only seemed natural to pull the reader in through smells, tastes, touch, sounds, and sights.
As the Kailmeyra series unfolds, I’m finding the compulsion to use symbolism and imagery is getting worse. What once was an affliction has now progressed into a full-blown disease. I don’t mind, really. But lately I’ve spent more time researching than writing. I’m working on the third, and final, book in the series, The Heart of the Ancients
, and the story is so powerful I only hope I can find the words to do it justice.
Check out Elizabeth Isaacs. You can find her here:
Autographed softcovers can be purchased on the author’s website as well
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