Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dragon Hoard


Bit tacky, isn't it?
Very tacky, in fact.
Found it at a yard sale.
Pure resin.
Probably a discarded companion icon for some D&D game.
Countless covers have been produced in a variation of this double symbol, I'm sure.
In spite of the plastic skeleton hanging in the hall closet and the hollowed -out huge old dictionary that holds a phone, I'm not much for physical symbols and metaphors.
Yet, I liked this as a superficial icon of my WIP, original title The Conyers Falchion.
Though renamed Trio of Dragons, the polar opposites consistently apply on many levels.
More than I consciously realized at first draft.
Metaphors are old as tales.
To tell one was to unlock one's word-hoard.
The dragon's bed meant treasure. The sea was the swan's path. A time of conflict was described as a wolf age.
The dragon and the sword are enduring, layered symbols of conflict and endless paradox: good/evil, man/nature ( internal/ external) temporal/spiritual, friend/enemy, security/danger, past/present, myth/reality.
King mentions this thematic of basic symbolism in On Writing.
Blood, I think, with all its basic reverberations,was his example.
Maass, in Writing the Breakout Novel, emphasizes it in subtle ways.
Do you have a basic metaphor or a physical symbol as your touchstone?

40 comments:

kmfrontain said...

Ow. Hard question. Too hard on my brain this morning. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's reply, because I have no darned clue as to a metaphor that pins my touchstone with words. Good question, actually.

Jaye Wells said...

I have no clue. Sometimes I think these things are revealed later. Once we're not mired in the work and can see the bigger picture. Or not. Wondering how many contemporary novels use this device. Have we gotten more literal? Not sure.

moonpunter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carla said...

I have a feeling that the writer may be the last person to know if they have a basic metaphor, because it may be so much a part of the fabric of the story that they may not be conscious of having put it in at all. What does everyone else think?

Dennie McDonald said...

funny - but I was thinkinbg how cool that you had that -- (even cooler if you leave it out on display and didn't just set it upon the table to snap the pic)

As my first book was classified (by the publisher) as erotic, I shall forgo the metaphor question as I can think of several things and none are to be shared in public - hehehe

Bernita said...

Hard question to articulate too, KM.
Another way of asking if one has a physical symbol like a toy, a picture that relates to their work.

I do think it's something that gradually emerges, Jaye.

And I wonder if this is why some writers have trouble for awhile with those hooky sentences in query letters, Carla.

Bernita said...

Be nice, moonpunter.
That's bad mannered.

It's on top of my filing cabinet, Dennie. No room on my desk.
No giant lingam's?
But I mean something more specific and individual than category.

Dennie McDonald said...

oh well then.... nope, still got nothing, sorry!

Jane N. said...

I finally get the lie/lay thing down, thanks to your wonderful tutorial and now you throw an even harder question at us.

I'll have to lay low and think about it.

Bernita said...

I may be wrong but I think you should lie low...

Jane N. said...

Argh!!!!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Metaphors are completely lost on me...I am such a what-you-see-is-what-you-get *sigh*

Even though I can think in terms like whimsey and scifi and enjoyunhinging my brain. I just always miss the metaphors.

One of my friends wrote this beautiful poem with all these wonderful metaphors (after they were all explained to me)!

Augh! That ship sailed without me! I truly missed the boat!

Who is moonpunter? Did he bring the croissants?

Flood said...

I've been thinking about this all morning, and come up empty. Maybe I just mix metaphors.

Bernita said...

I think it's great fun to mix metaphors, Flood. Livens things.

Moonpunter is apparently a drive-by pirate blogger.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

well then expunge him to the netherworld *she said laughing maniacally*

Nahna nah nah, nahna nah nah..hey, hey, hey..goodbye...Oh...that's that new Tide Pen commercial!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Eureka! It just occurred to me....I found a metaphor for eradication....the Tide Pen....LOL

Don't mind me...too much coffee!

Bernita said...

Um...Bonnie...I'M supposed to be the Evil Twin...

He's not a spammer per se but he seems to be using a spam method on other's blogs to attract hits.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

If it quacks like a duck......

Sam said...

That is SUCH a cool dragon!!
I guess my treasures change all the time - I usually find a rock, piece of old glass, fossil, or something odd that strikes my fancy. Then it sits on my desk for ages, lol!
Right now I have this old crooked piece of glass.

M. G. Tarquini said...

just popping in to offer sympathy for the shredding over at the cows. at least #2 told you what bugged her and gave some suggestions. All she told me was not to quit the day job!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Mindy.
Perhaps she was feeling benevolent that day.
More likely, yours just didn't produce the gag reflex as strongly as mine.
I don't believe there was a single sentence that passed muster.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Au contraire. She told me to just delete the story, with liberal puking sounds and calls for WT. #1 argued with her about, she liked thevoice. She edited the whole chapter for me later. Very nice of her.

#2 gave you a lot of solid commentary among the insults. I didn't even rate those!

S. W. Vaughn said...

I have a star! It's shiny and -- well, it's not really shiny. It's got five colors and they aren't shiny colors. But it's my star. All mine! HA-ha-ha-ha... er. I've had a wee bit too much coffee today and not nearly enough oxygen.

Bernita, I don't find your dragon statue tacky at all. I'm jealous! It's actually far better scuplted than many of the dragons I've seen around here.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I missed something, didn't I? About the Crabby Cows, that is. I wanna see! Gonna go find out if I can spot it myself. :-)

Bernita said...

May your wishing star come true for you.
You'll have no problem, SW, I admitted to it.

Mindy, neither of them liked my "voice" - if you read between the lines.
I had the feeling #1 was scrambling to find something nice to say in her "good cop" role.
Well, I asked for it.
I just have to suck it up.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I think you're wrong, bernita. #1 hit you on repeats, but liked some of your descriptions. #2's comments mostly center on sentence structure, overuse of fragments and repeating the same idea multiple times. She thought it purple. So yank the repeats, pull some of the speech that sounds too period, the places that make people go .huh?' and be more straightforward in the presentation.

Seriously, there was no reading between the lines with mine. #2 hated it and for no apparent reason. Possibly just not her cup of tea, in which case, her comments were even more baffling.

so, take heart, wipe away the tears, and pull the sting from #2's words so you can be dispassionate about it.

Nasty is her schtick. Let her keep her schtick and you get what usefulness you can from it.

Bernita said...

Out of context,without Damie's background, I can see why she thinks it purple.
In fact, there's a number of things that needs the context of past events to make sense - the thing with the dagger, for one.
Ah well.

Gabriele C. said...

Also, CC#2 obviously isn't a fan of historical fiction. She said about mine something like, it's well written but not my cup of tea. That's ok with me.

Bernita said...

At least she said "well written," Gabriele.
I totally turned her crank and got flayed seven ways to Sunday.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh my. I found it.

Ya know, I think #2 only picks on those entries she sees potential in, and that's why she rips them apart. But OUCH.

My humble opinion lies closer to #1's. I found your descriptions and comparisons fantastic, Bernita. And I happen to like repeats and fragments for effect. Use them myself all the time!

Bernita said...

Sweet of you, Girl.
That may be just wishful thinking though.
Except for the "back" busines - somehow I missed that, in spite of my horror of unintentional repetitions - the fragments and the repeats were deliberate.

First time I've ever had a critique that felt personal.
But as I said, I asked for it.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Hey, at least CC#1 said it was a good read!

I'm too chicken shit to give them a piece, so you're ahead of me!

I like your writing, so there!

Bernita said...

Eh, my Bonnie.
Wish I had remained chickenshit, then my entrails wouldn't be hanging out for everyone to see.

R.J. Baker said...

Tides of pain seem to be my metaphoric symbiolgy(if that's a word)...

For The Trees said...

I have a physical symbol. A familiar, if you will. It's Tipper the cat, as shown in the picture to the right. He has this notion embedded in his walnut-sized brain that my lap is where he belongs. Even when I'm writing. Well, that won't work, because I write with my keyboard in my lap.

So guess who gets miffed?

BOTH of us!!

Bernita said...

It works,Baker.
Pain is our familiar companion, on many levels.

Understand why he's called Tipper, Forrest...

Lady M said...

I'm a Dragon Collector B!

Hugs darling...

For me - I don't have a symbol - but I always enjoying gazing out the window.... And giving myself a moment of mental silence...

And then life just flows...

But anything with dragons - including hoards... I will look at and just feel content - even just the word.... LOL!

Dunno why either.

Hugs B.

Lady M
Slowly coming back to life.

Bernita said...

So glad to see you back, Lady M.
You've had a most difficult time.

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