Symbolism Thesaurus Entry: Love/Affection

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:

Mating rituals (chasing, wrestling, gentle head butting, etc)
Grooming (combing, licking, scratching etc)
Animals nuzzling their mate or young
Animals sharing food
Close proximity to one another
Building a burrow/nest together
Sleeping in the same place
Protecting mate or children from predators or danger
Remaining nearby if mate is injured
Modelling behavior (teaching to hunt, fly)

In Society:

The color red
Valentine's Day
Holding hands
Holding someone
Tending to injuries
Sharing secrets
Sitting close enough legs /knees/etc touch
Love letters
Sending flowers, chocolate, etc
Putting another's needs/wants first
A hand or shoulder squeeze
Touching another's face or hair
Enduring hardship for another
Sleeping together
Sharing interests/hobbies
Making time for another
Sharing worries, fears, hopes
A need to be close
Thinking about other when apart
Candlelight dinners
Wine & glasses
Sharing a bath or shower
Massage, foot rubs
Romantic movies
Displaying trust (trying new things, stepping outside comfort zone)
Stores/business that target lovers, couples, romance
Wanting to share experiences, make memories
Leaning toward one another
Sharing meals or a drink
Running errands, doing favors, helping
Borrowing clothing
Lingering eye contact
Blushing, glowing
Whispering close to ear
Buying Flowers
Paying the bill

These are just a few examples of things one might associate with Love or affection. Some are more powerful than others. A pair of entwined lovers is a strong symbol, and likely will not require reinforcement. However, lingering eye contact may not foreshadow Love or affection on its own. Let the story's tone decide if one strong symbol or several smaller ones work the best.


Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss angela! i didnt ever think about that symbol stuff. but now i could see its pretty important for making a scene lots better.
...hugs from lenny

Nicole Zoltack said...

I love this. LOL Whoops, did not actually mean the pun! You're so right that the story should dictate how much love is shown and in what ways.

Joanna St. James said...

ha u you just made my edits go faster thanks

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Awwww...who doesn't need a little help with in the love and affection department?! LOL. Thanks for this. :-)

JEFritz said...

I liked this. Symbolism isn't something I think about, although I probably should. It's one of those many things that has to feel right, I guess.

Catherine A. Winn said...

I love the reminder to place symbolism in the reader's path:)

Julie Musil said...

Love these (no pun intended), especially the more subtle symbols. Thank you!

Amie Kaufman said...

I'm just loving these entries. (No, doesn't mean I want to sit close enough for our legs to touch... well, maybe a little, if blogs had legs.) Thank you!

N. R. Williams said...

Symbols are important. I had to create some for my fantasy. That I suppose is one of the reason I love to write it. Because building a new world give me fresh ways to express this one.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Susanne Drazic said...

Great list!

Bish Denham said...

Wonderful. Makes me feel all soft and cuddly. I like foot rubs...being rocked.

salarsenッ said...

I love the social listing. So true about foreshadowing. Hah, just read Nicole's 'pun'. Guess I'm included in that. ';-)

Laura Pauling said...

Terrific post! You've done it again! Thanks.


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