|Scissor Spiders (from confiscated scissors) by Christopher Locke|
The first trick is to include them as a natural part of the character's actions, just as you might mention a morning cup of coffee. The second trick is to look beyond the obvious purpose of the object to the symbolic functions they can perform. AND to look beyond the obvious action of the character to an overarching pattern of behavior. A break up with a boyfriend may be cutting someone from her life, but where might she also be cutting things from her life?
Look around your room and pick 5 of your own objects. Then pick 5 from the list here. For each, write down actions, emotions, motivations, personalities the objects could represent.
For example: Scissors: cut unwanted things away, cut wanted things out, sever ties, destroy, create, sculpt. They can also stab.
Cell phone charms
Cast iron skillet
Child's wooden block
and no list of symbolic objects is complete without: