Here are five mistakes that new and inexperienced writers often make. Usually, when your readers are critical and on the ‘lookout’ for the theme, or ‘motif’ that you are trying to present, it is for a reason. If you try to be overly symbolic, your readers can tell almost right away. If your reader is caught up in this wave of critical analyzation, it is highly likely that they won’t pay as much as attention to what it is you’re really trying to convey. Your essence will be lost with them.
Does this mean you absolutely can’t use symbolism? No. Does this mean that your use of imagery and themes are prohibited? Not at all. The fix is simpler than you may imagine it to be. Instead of using boring cliches, try to use real-life instances in their place. It is better to drive your narrative through plot tension and difficult, real dilemmas. For example, instead of using the theme of ‘justice,’ why not use something more specific? Specifically, instead of using the word ‘justice,’ you could instead use something like, ‘What do you find more important? Protecting the innocent, or letting fear and violence run rampant?’
This is just an example. The main point I’m trying to make is this: let your story speak the most and engage the reader, not other symbolism that can be difficult to decipher, and come across as narcissistic. Most of all, it’s just good to respect your readers, as an author. If you think that your theme, image, and ‘symbolism’ are too easily identifiable, there is a strong chance that your readers do, too. That is something that you don’t want. What good is a story that explains itself in such a way that the readers are already bored in the first few chapters? You should always assume that your readers are just as intelligent as you are. Ensuring that you write like you are aware of this factor is essential to making a good story flow.
Don’t try so hard, it comes off as arrogant and annoying to the readers. Again, I should stress that the readers are just as intelligent as you are, typically, at least. They can see right through your guise. When you’re revising your story, find those parts where you come off as too ‘impressive’ or ‘comical’ and change or remove them. They are most likely, unnecessary and distracting to the plot or theme that you think you are so greatly conveying.
Get rid of extra, useless words. Everyone uses extra words. These are words that just don’t deserve to make the cut. They’re probably fillers. Unless, of course, these words are specifically important for developing the theme, or a specific character. You should know when you’re editing your work — especially after reading this.
Avoid trying to amaze your readers with your plethora of knowledge, especially when describing a specific place or idea. Again, the readers usually see straight through it. Believe it or not, people are remarkably perceptive.