Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - What About Theme #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Remember those days in college Literature classes when the professor wanted you to identify the theme of a story? The theme was supposed to come to a conclusion as to the meaning of the story. I will admit that I failed every time. Sure many of the stories spoke to me but not because I searched for an underlying theme.

I have friends who have a theme in mind when they begin their works. They feel unless they know their theme they can't write the story. Never worked for me but it might for you. Oh, I could understand a general thing like "Love conquers all" or "Crime doesn't pay." These are general themes that are kind of universal.

While reading Structuring Your Novel: From basic idea to finished manuscript by Meredith and Fitzgerald, I came across this bit of wisdom. This is about a writer stating his theme before beginning the story. They felt "It is our belief that to do so makes both the author and his characters the prisoners of such a thematic statement." What they advise is making a statement of purpose that involves the characters, the plot, local and all other fictional elements.

Seemed to me the theme then grows from what the writer writes and the story he or she tells. So to write down your theme before you begin or not? this is a question for each writer to answer.

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