There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

If the Slipper Fits. The Power of Symbolism in Fantasy: Part II April 21, 2013

Filed under: Inspiration,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 12:07 am
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Often, the greater themes of symbolism in fantasy are reserved for the hero or heroine in a story. Granted, I’m thankful the glass slipper fit Cinderella, else where would we be without the belief that faith/true love/kindness triumphs over the most evil of stepmothers?

But if the slipper represents these things, might it be possible that other characters can wear the slipper as well?

And by slipper, I mean any object or other symbolic idea integral to the story.

For example: The main theme in my novel, A Song In Winter, is rebirth. It’s what Winter represents, what my main character witnesses and experiences. Everything that happens in my novel—the battles, the transformations, the objects I use—spirals out from this idea and symbolizes rebirth.

Now, at one point in my story, I tried to make my love interest the prince of Winter, but unlike Cinderella’s slipper, it didn’t quite fit. I didn’t force the issue. Instead, I listened to my muse and gave my love interest a brother. And though the Prince is a secondary character, he turned out to be pretty important.

I wrote a scene, the events of which I didn’t initially intend, and the Prince received an item of great symbolic meaning (I can’t give too much away) in which the theme of my novel was reiterated. It was beautiful. If it had happened to my love interest it wouldn’t have worked and I would’ve deleted the scene. And then my story would’ve been lacking in some way. As it was, the power of that symbolic event gave my story strength.

Needless to say, I’m glad the slipper fit another character. And if you find the same thing happening in yours, trust your instincts, and let the power of symbolism work its magic.

Happy reading!