Getting Wet

RockWater
WATER is symbolic! You know that!

We use water to bless, baptize, cleanse, and purify.

Authors use a dunk under water to indicate a character’s spiritual change or spiritual rebirth!

A character might:

  • dance in the rain, indicating joy at their new lease on life.
  • jump in a lake/pond/river/ocean/pool of their own accord, signifying a determined effort to change.
  • be pushed or dragged into a lake/pond/river/ocean/pool, which may indicate their unwillingness to change OR they emerge as BAD/EVIL–think the Joker in Batman who falls into the vat of acid.
  • accidentally slip or trip into the water signifying a less purposeful change

Once immersed in water, the character can:

  • grab some driftwood and float merrily along with the current. This might signify the character’s understanding and acceptance of his rebirth. In Fahrenheit 451, Montag jumps into a river to escape death, grabs some driftwood and floats toward a new life–I think there’s about 3-pgs of his thoughts while floating.
  • almost drown.This might be the big slap-in-the-face-scene. It might serve as the character’s revelation; reveal guilt or failure; be thematic; or act as a plot device. In I Robot, the main character realizes the inhumanity of technology when the robot calculates the odds and saves him instead of the little girl. His a-ha moment.
  • drown. Once again this might be a plot device, or a poignant too-late revelation for a character.

Other symbolic factors to consider:

  • Is the water polluted?
  • Does the character float on his back and gaze at the sky (symbolic of divinity or limitless possibilities)
  • Does character struggle or get tangled in seaweed?
  • is the character dragged down by their possessions?
  • Is the water warm or cold or arctic?
  • Does someone SAVE the character?
  • Does character refuse to be saved?
  • Does the character save himself?
  • What is the body of water? The Ganges river or Red Sea might have a different meaning than a scummy pond or chlorinated swimming pool.
If character is baptized/reborn by rain, is it :
  • a summer shower
  • a hail storm
  • a drizzle
  • a torrential downfall
  • a storm complete with divine thunder and lightning
  • of flood-like epic proportions ( symbolic slap in the face and allusion to the Bible)

Remember IRONY blows this all “out of the water!”

Have fun soaking your characters!

 Related Links:  Rock Your Writing;Click HERE for Amazon link.

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