Choose a Language
Typically we speak, even internally, in a kind of emotional short hand using symbols that pop up in our "moments of inspiration." These are common phrases that we understand the meaning of without having to explain them with full sentences.
When you then use this shorthand in your work, you must be aware of how it can be interpreted. Some of our shorthand is universal and is easy to understand. A common symbol will quickly communicate an idea or situation. An easily understood and common symbol, word or phrase can add a vividness and immediacy to your piece. However, it can also trivialize the importance of the meaning of your work. For instance, if you are trying to convey a sense of powerful loss you will want your audience to be able to quickly relate to the loss, but not so quickly and easily that they do so without forming an emotional connection - beware the potential shallowness of empathy, you want a sympathetic audience.
c.2011 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved