@rose-colored-fancy Oh my goodness, I was just thinking about this a few days ago! This is literally like my favorite thing that authors do. Almost all good stories have it, if you look close enough.
The thing that makes me so excited about motifs is that they bring you back to a previous place, and that they can be anything. The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (which I watched lately) has so many, I can’t even count them all, but I’ll tell you a few of the most magical ones.
1: Song: When the movies first introduce Hobbits, they play a certain song in a certain key, with a certain instrument. That song subconsciously represents everything good, and playful and bright in the world. Then, all through the rest of the movies, at really dark parts, the movie brings back that song, or at least the same instrument, and your heart just breaks.😄
2. Phrase: There is a part in the second movie where a evil spell is broken, freeing the King of Rohan. The first person he sees is his niece, and he says, “I remember your face…Eoywn,” and then smiles. In the last movie when he (spoiler) is wounded in battle, Eoywn is there with him, and he opens his eyes and says the same thing, “I remember your face…Eoywn.” And then smiles before he dies.
3. Film shot: In the first movie, there is a scene where Frodo has to leave his friends behind, and paddles away in a canoe. Of course, Sam refuses to let Frodo go, and comes out in the water after him, even though he can’t swim. Frodo reaches over the side of the boat and grabs Sam’s wrist underwater…the movie does a side shot of just their hands. Then, in the last movie, Frodo ends up hanging over the edge of a cliff, and they do a shot of Sam grabbing his wrist from the same angle. It just makes it magical, and brings you back to the beginning of the story.
I find that my stories create motifs of their own without me meaning to, even though I do put them in purposefully sometimes. The two best things ever are: when an author brings back a really meaningful motif at a climatic part, or at the very end, connecting it back to the beginning. And, when the author creates a subtle pattern, and then breaks it to make a point. In my WIP, my MC holds his shoulder (which was wounded in the past) when he’s in emotional or mental pain. I haven’t got to it yet, but at the end of the book, I plan to break that pattern, to help show how much he has changed.
Sorry for the ramble. Motifs are the best though.😆
Not all those who wander are lost.