The majority of my English and writing education in the last four years has focused on "literary analysis" - reading not for comprehension but for deeper meanings. I've written essays on the repetition of the word "green" and what effects it has on the development of the character's psyche blah blah blah. I really love finding symbolism and identifying literary devices as well as themes, and I'd found it's started to influence my writing. Most of the pieces I write begin very quickly to shape a theme or a thesis with symbolic motifs and all that good stuff. For the most part this works - I've managed a few pieces that work on the surface as a story but have more literary depth - but other times it bogs down my writing, and I start writing heavy-handed theme-driven stuff that loses sight of the basics like engaging plot and characters. One piece specifically is giving me a lot of trouble lately with this balance. My question is, do any of you try to imbue your pieces with deeper meanings through symbolic imagery, sonic devices, allusions, etc.? If yes, at what point in the writing do you start working with this and how do you keep it secondary to the overall story?