Symbolism is an advanced level of subtext that can be applied to virtually any aspect of story telling. Adding it to a script pushes your brawler of a script to the next higher weight class.
The technical definition of symbolism is as follows:
Symbolism (sym•bol•ism) noun: Putting ten pounds of meaning in a one pound bag.
In Storycraft I mention the core types of symbolism;
- visual symbolism
- symbolic names
- symbolic actions
- symbolic situations.
When you sit down to add symbolism to your story, the first thing you need to clarify is; what do you want to symbolize? Sounds like a question from Captain Obvious, but really, if you don’t know what you want to express, how can you find a symbol for it?
And more to the point, when writing a story, there will be a multitude of elements you “could” symbolize… In order to see the forest for the trees, you need to stop and recognize the key elements worthy of deeper subtext/emphasis and…