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This may sound like a complex question, so let me explain what I mean. I'm inspired by Harry Potter, Avatar The Last Airbender, Homestuck (it exists), and all of those things have different houses / nations / classes / etc that have their own philosophy, ideology, and symbolism to them.

For example: Ravenclaw (my house) has the ideology of thinking outside the box, it has the symbol of a raven which shows intelligence, it's colors are bronze and blue which shows 3rd place and "once in a blue moon", etc.

I'm using this kind of storytelling to have readers project themselves onto the world, I.E. Through fanfiction (don't laugh) and personality quizzes. I'm using it to give an amount of depth to the world. They would also (as you guessed) have some symbolism and motifs to them.

How can I incorporate these things into my story?

  • John Doe believes that dragons are a menace in society. They should be captured and tamed. Jack Doe believes that dragons fit the natural ecosystem. They should live freely in the wild so that unicorns will not overpopulate. There you go, some ideas. – Double U Feb 14 at 20:39
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    I changed the ending of your question to try to focus it on your actual question and not make it sound like you're fishing for ideas (which will get your question closed). Re-edit it if you wish. – Cyn Feb 14 at 22:48
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    @Cyn Good idea. Thanks for that. – Willfire Z Tiger Feb 15 at 17:10
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You want a group's symbolism and ideology to mesh together. That's not hard at all.

Start with the group's core idea. What is it that they are, most of all? If you could sum up their "ideology" in one word or phrase, what would it be? (Examples could be: honour, wisdom, survival, paying your debts, etc.)

Next step: write that core word/phrase on a page, and start throwing associations around it. Look in particular for natural motifs (animals, plants, landscape features), but consider also other phrases that come to mind, citations, people, historic events, etc. Colours or colour combinations could also arise from this associations chart. Consider, for example red and gold - Richard the Lionheart's crest, thus courage. Red, white and blue would lead to the French cokcarde, thus to liberty. And so on.

If you find something is still lacking, consider what secondary themes you want associated with your faction, and throw associations around those.

In the end, pull everything together - philosophy, crest, motto, et voila, you're all set.

  • Thank you. I admit I kinda knew what I was doing, but it never hurts to ask for help. – Willfire Z Tiger Feb 14 at 21:19
  • @WillfireZTiger If you like an answer, you can upvote it. You can upvote any and all posts you like. – Galastel Feb 14 at 21:58
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You could also start writing your story and retro-fit ideology and symbolism. That is how it often works in real life.

It took a lot of wars to come up with the idea of uniforms and standards. Engines were invented way before car brands. Religions began as the spiritual epiphany of one or few people, and long before the prayers and the symbols.

In practice, you want to write about a group that creates something new. Great. How does this thing look? That goes into the crest. What does this thing do? That goes to the motto. What prevented others for creating it? That goes into your symbolism and the jargon within your group.

Example: it is a flying machine to transport people, and it could not be done without cutting a special tree. Your crest could be a bee, the motto 'wings everywhere' and they refer to each other as the 'sawteeth' and different variations on the 'saw' root.

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