forum recurring themes
Started by @larcenistarsonist group

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@larcenistarsonist group

if you know me, you know that I go absolutely insane for motifs. please please please tell me any huge pieces of symbolism and motifs that you have in your writings i want to put them into my mouth and crunch on them

I think I can go first!!!

In my prequel–WWIV–to my main project–The Six Initiative–I force a group of six soldiers to travel across Mongolia and Kazakhstan to deliver a thumb drive crucial to the war effort. Throughout the story, bullets have become a recurring theme!!!

  • Before the journey even started, twins Mischa and Nikola Antonov(a) fight to stay together, Nikola even striking a wager at the camp they were destined to be separated in. The captain said they would be allowed to go together if Nikola was able to shoot a beer can off a stump from a hundred yards away. Nikola succeeded, and kept the winning bullet on a leather strap around his neck with his dog tags for the rest of the novel.
  • It sort of becomes the gang's catchphrase to say "bite the bullet" whenever they know they're going to have to do something difficult.
  • It becomes a habit for them to exchange bullets before going into a confrontation, something about luck and trading "parts of them" to ensure they stick together.
  • When camping by a small town to rest, the gang suddenly find themselves in the midst of an aerial ambush. A tall building begins to crumble, Nikola doesn't even think as he rips the bullet necklace from his neck and hands it to his sister before running off. Mischa screams after him, asking him what he's doing, and Nikola turns around with a smile and says "biting the bullet", a devastating reference to when we first see the twins at the beginning of the novel and Mischa heatedly tells her brother to "bite the bullet and do something with his life." The building falls and Nikola is killed, only nineteen at the time of his death.
  • Iseul Lee, the superhuman weapon out of the six, takes steroids before going into a battle/skirmish, making her a near-unkillable creature with black veins and inky eyes. During her watch, she speaks to her love--Terbish Ganbataar--and gives her a pistol, saying that if she ever loses herself entirely, thus making Terbish's worst dream a reality, Iseul wants Terbish to be the one to fire the gun and take her out.
    • Unfortunately, after an argument, Terbish steals Iseul's jacket and takes a walk by herself to cool off. She's shot by a hidden sniper from an enemy base. It took one bullet through her heart to kill her
    • Iseul finds Terbish's cooling corpse and flies into a blind rage, slaughtering dozens upon dozens of enemies ruthlessly because they stole the love of her life from her. When Iseul finally falls, when she's finally killed, Mischa--the medic--finds over eighty bullets in her body.
  • Tao Zhang, the survivalist amongst them, jokingly says in the middle of a battle that he eats bullets for breakfast, moments before being shot straight through the jaw. It shattered the bone and permanently disabled him.
  • Haru Nakamura, the leader, told everyone at the beginning that he would make himself a human shield for them. He is the only one to emerge from the Fourth World War without being shot once. He carries each of his comrades dog tags with him for the rest of his life.
  • alskjdfaj anyways these guys make me insane i hope they make you guys insane as well


Ok, first of all that is all SO CREATIVE and so cool and the rabid squirrels that power my brain have actual seizures of happiness whenever people write well done motifs/recurring themes into their writing. I'm not as good as like, DOING it as I am reading it, but here's some I love to use:

  • Literally ANY subtle (or not subtle) callbacks to Greek mythology. Specifically the Iliad/Odyssey because I could live off those two books alone for years probably. I couldn't help but get a slight Achilles vibe from ur girl Iseul btw, so congrats on being The Coolest Person
  • Color motifs bc I read Fitzgerald at a formative age (last year lol). Does a character start wearing one color only and end the series with a WAY more varied wardrobe based on all of the new things they've learned and perspectives they've gained? Maybe. Do eye colors often correlate to that character's primary personality trait (i.e, "mirror-grey" eyes on a character who's role in the story is to expose the flaws in one of the main characters)? Could be. Do i shamelessly steal the "Green represents freedom" thing and run with it? yes and u can't stop me.
  • DREAMS. Not like prophetic of specific events that will happen, but these work so well to show what a character's primary goals/anxieties are, and whenever I have two characters who have parallel or opposing arcs I like to screw with their dreams in similar ways.
  • Also literally any recurrent "war sucks, we should live in harmony with the land instead of exploiting it, your own greed will be your downfall," stuff because Studio Ghibli was right about everything.
  • Characters repeating historical or old familial traumas. How unfair the Feanorian Oath from the Silmarillion lives in my brain rent-free and continues to torture me to this day, and why even write if not to inflict your problems on other people :D (Also God of War: Ragnarök of all things addressed this topic. like. so well. I will never be over it)