Not too long ago, I read an article by Christine Frazier, How to Take Charge of Your Novel’s Symbolism. It discussed the symbols used in books, like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Game.
Writing The Ruby Cell has come a long way since its inception. I’m still working on some edits, but I took a small break to finalize my protagonist’s symbol. The idea was rattling around in my brain for a while. I just needed to determine what it was going to be.
Since Blade is a blacksmith, I chose to use his family’s touchmark. The touchmark is a metal “stamp” used to sign the finished metal piece. You may have seen something similar to fine china, crystal, or Tiffany lamp.
Blade’s symbol needed to encompass the qualities of his character, but I wanted something he wouldn’t expect to treasure. He isn’t happy with the thought of being a blacksmith. He would prefer to travel, but alas, his family is known for blacksmithing. When a demon kills his family, the touchmark is a part of his family that he can keep.
The touchmark includes some basic items of blacksmithing, flames, hammers, a sword, but also has his family’s last initial. There is a Russian influence to the story, and I gave Blade’s family the last name of Petrovich. The Russian letter P looks like a bottomless square, and this made a nice border for the symbol.
I hope to include some other symbols in the book. Blade and his friends end up needing to use the talisman to keep them safe from the demon, and the tsar’s family and military use special gold rings. I will let you know when I formulate a design.
Now, it’s back to my edits.