A Discovery About My WIP: Accidental Symbolism

Do you ever have a moment where you’re doing research for your WIP and you realize you inadvertently placed symbolism into it?

Flowers have meanings. The poppy symbolizes the fallen of war/remembrance, baby’s breath is innocence, and the red rose, of course, symbolizes true love. And if I’m remembering this right, you can also make messages with them.

Last week, I remembered a scene I wanted to add into my current WIP, The Woodsman. It involves the protagonist, Leslie, finding a burnt-out shell of a house in the evergreen forests of beautiful western Washington. Curious, she cautiously explores it, and in what was once the living room, finds a small vase full of flowers.

Fresh flowers.

Which then led to not wanting the flowers to be unidentified, so in figuring out which flowers I wanted to place in the vase, I ended up researching plant symbolism, because why not? And while doing so, I discovered that marigolds symbolize pain and grief.

Marigold Hills is the name of the little (fictional) town Leslie and her daughter stay at for summer break.

Marigold Hills is also where the source of another character’s pain and grief comes from.

Talk about unknowingly adding symbolism.

Flowers really can be a great way to show symbolism throughout your WIP, like how the rose in Beauty and The Beast symbolizes the time limit Beast has to learn to love and be loved in return.

Tell me your thoughts below! What do you think of using flowers as symbolism?

3 thoughts on “A Discovery About My WIP: Accidental Symbolism

  1. I love the language of flowers! It was popular in the Victorian Era; I have a book that lists meanings they had for them back then. That’s so cool that you already had it in your story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE using flowers as symbolism and they feature heavily in my main WIP. Especially roses. Did you know peach coloured roses symbolise thankfulness? I didn’t until I started researching it. And yep, I’ve added a lot of accidental symbolism as well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is your main WIP The Stars Fill Infinity?

      I think I did? (About the rose)

      Seriously though, accidental symbolism may be the best kind of symbolism there is! I’m sure I’d looked up flower meanings before I even thought of The Woodsman, so maybe the meaning of marigold buried itself inside my subconscious mind and then when I was crafting this certain character’s backstory, it just weaved its’ way in there.

      Liked by 1 person

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