Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Danita has been helping me with something I've had a brain block on. Themes. She says you have to have a theme for your story from the get-go and hold to it through out the story to make it last past the last page with the reader.

So, she has been making me come up with themes for my WIPs. Yes, you heard me WIPs! I have 4 WIPS at the present all in different stages. The two I am currently trying to clean up are the ones I've come up with themes for. Forgiveness begins within- is the theme for the contemporary and Love heals - is the theme for the spirit book.

I'm still working on the themes for the other two. I'm a slow learner on this subject. :)

How about you? Do you come up with themes for each of your books? Do you print them on a card and have it on your desk or computer as you write to stay true to your theme?


Anonymous said...

No, I don't come up with themes. Dang it. Now I have one more thing to do with this stinking writing gig. Thanks a lot Paty. LOL

Good luck with your themes. I guess I should go see what sort of theme I can come up with for my crap.

Paty Jager said...

Piper, now don't skip the MWVRWA blog just because I posted about this there too! LOL

Michelle said...

I deliberately don't do this. For me, it pulls me out of the story. I write the book, then I look at the themes that have emerged, and usually they are there all nicely woven in to the book without any conscious effort on my part. But if I think anything needs a bit of tweaking, I go back and do it.

I think the danger of trying to identify your theme while you are in your first draft is that you may get too heavy-handed with it.

Funny, but I blogged about NOT identifying theme on Wednesday last week at my group blog :)

Paty Jager said...

I like your thoughts on this. I usually don't identify a theme at all! But am trying to do more of that now. I seemed to have received better feedback on my writing when I was blissfully ignorant of all these little details.

Thank you for popping in and commenting!

Michelle said...

LOL on getting better feedback when you're blissfully unaware. I am a writer who loves the magic of the creative process, so at least with the first draft, I just write it and put my fingers in my ears if anyone mentions theme, character ARC, dark moment, or anything else :) I've got the second draft for all that stuff, LOL.

Michelle said...

Paty, I saw this by Jenny Crusie on the creative writing course she's doing with Bob Mayer at their combined blog and immediately thought of your post:

As for Intent/Theme, I truly think you can’t know that until the book is done; I don’t think you know what it’s about in deep structure until you read the final draft stages, which is why I’m not a fan of thinking about intent/theme until the very end of the process.

From her blog on One Sentence Idea. Here's the link: http://www.crusiemayer.com/workshop/the-central-question-and-the-conflict-box/jenny/