How to Write a Motif
In order to use a motif, it is important to be aware of what underlying theme or idea is being reflecting by the motif:
- Identify an important theme.
- Emphasize this theme by placing a recurring idea, image, or symbol within the composition.
For example, consider the theme of hope.
Many images help to conjure the idea of hope. Here is a potential motif for hope:
A sunny day
Specifically, the change from bad weather to good weather—the clearing of storm clouds, the blue sky peeking out, sun rays descending upon the earth—can serve to symbolize the development of hope.
For a second example, consider a businessman. A common part of business is networking and selling oneself.
Imagine a movie in which a man is attempting to sell his idea to other businessmen. Close-ups of handshake upon handshake would further emphasize the importance of networking and creating connections with others in order to find success as an entrepreneur.
When to Use Motifs
Motifs repeat themselves throughout a narrative. For this reason, motifs should be used in various scenes within a composition. Motifs can be found in any creative work including songs, poems, stories, television shows, advertisements, and films.