Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Crow Flies At Midnight

I've written about symbols of HOPE before, but how about symbols of DOOM?

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, 
Shall be lifted - nevermore.
(Edgar Allan Poe)

The Game of Thrones uses ravens and wolves to create tension and mystery.

In The Lord Of The Rings, Ringwraiths inspired panic and fear much like the Dementors in Harry Potter did.

But the symbol doesn't have to be an object or creature. It could use any of the five senses. In one of my novels, I use a certain sound as well as a point of light in the woods, to hopefully create a sense of foreboding.

The idea is to craft an atmosphere of intrigue, impending trouble or tragedy. It's not necessary, but certainly can ramp up the tension in your novel.


Christine Danek said...

Very true and love your examples. The Raven is one of my favorites from Edgar Allen Poe.

Matthew MacNish said...

Love it. What an awesome post. I especially like that you point out it can be almost anything, if you set up the right atmosphere.

Stina said...

I'm with Matt. I love this post!!! And I can't wait to read how you did it, C. :D

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I love reading the Raven out loud. There's a feeling of doom that emanates not just from the words on the page, but the rhythm and rhyme of them spoken aloud.

Excellent post!

Christina Lee said...

Totally, Dianne! Thanks, guys.

Meredith said...

I got shivers! So creepy. I love atmospherically scary stories. :)

Slamdunk said...

Oh I had forgotten about those ringwraiths.

We have plenty of giant crows scouring our field so inspiration is certainly only a window away.

Have a good weekend Christina.

Pearl said...

What fabulous images...


Christina Lee said...

Slamdunk, I picture you staring out that window!

Lourie said...

The Raven is one of the best. Though my daughter doesn't appreciate it. *sigh* Maybe ten years from now.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

this is right up my alley. I love symbolism, especially foreboding things. Love it Christina:)