by Kristina ~
O'siyo Oginalii Tsilugi - Hello friends - Welcome - to My first blog. A place to share.
| Hi and welcome to my Blog.
When I started writing, years ago, I had no idea that there was a lot to write a well-written story. I thought that an idea would pop into my head, seep out onto the keyboard and appear onto the paper. I struggled through many years before realizing that in order to become a better writer, one must learn all that one can learn about--Writing. I began researching things that I didn't know and the things that I didn't have a firm, clear understanding of.
This brings me to my blog. I decided to put my research here not only for myself, but to share with those who may be interested. My first topic is on Themes.
More than one theme can and most often does exist in a story. To make good use of a theme an author must create an emotional connection that attracts readers to the characters. By hooking the reader into the character’s journey, he/shes hooks into two elements: (1) the theme itself, and(2) the thematic statement the author makes about the theme.
Just what is a theme anyway? Theme is defined as a central topic discussed in a literary work. On its own a theme makes no statement. It doesn’t come out and hit you up side the head and announce its arrival, rather it is an idea that has been highlighted throughout the book. It has to have a theme statement. A theme statement is considered a novel’s message. It is the stance an author takes on his/her book’s predominant theme. Remember that the theme is rooted in the character flaws or objects that keep him/her from achieving their goals, and the thematic statement unfolds naturally as a result of the character’s internal arc.
You, as the author, needs to know is how the character changes or doesn’t change as the result of the story’ events. Take a look at the main character and ask yourself these five questions:
(1) Who is my character at the beginning of the story?
(2) What are their flaws, and what holds them back from happiness or fulfillment?
(3) How do the events of my story shape my character for the better or worse?
(4) Does my character overcome his/her flaws and/or the obstacles that stands in their way? How so?
(5) Who has my character become at the end of the story?
Theme is something you determine on your own. No two people will pick up on the same theme (if your book has more than one) and interpret it the exact same way.
Key Terms to Remember:
(1) Theme: : A central topic discussed in a literary work. An idea highlighted throughout a story.
It is also defined by symbols or a motif that keeps appearing and reappearing throughout the work. (More on Symbols and Motifs later)
(2) Thematic Statement:Is the stance the author takes on the predominate theme and is considered the novel’s message.
(3) Moral: The lesson that the reader is suppose to learn from the plot’s conclusion.
(4) Plot:Is the action that takes place within the course of the narrative.
(5) Symbolism: The use of a particular object or image to represent a larger idea.
(6) Motif: A motif can be expressed by a collection of related symbols. An element or idea that repeats itself throughout that piece of literature. It is closely related to a theme but is more of a supporting role to the theme than a theme itself.
Common Themes in Literature:
A character is judged for being different or wrong doing, whether the infraction is real or just perceived as wrongdoing by others.
A character must overcome countless odds just to live another day.
(3) Peace and War:
Characters are gripped in the turmoil of conflict while hoping for days of peace to come or reminiscing about the good life before the war. Characters experience the build-up of a gradual understanding that war is tragic and not noble.
Sometimes intertwined with other themes.
Whether false heroism or true heroic act = conflicting values.
(6) Good and evil:
The coexistence of good and evil is often found along side war, judgement and love.
(7) Circle of Life/Life and Death:
Life begins at birth and ends with death. The realization that death is inevitable no matter what.
Make sure every day is lived to the full, because life is so temporary
One only achieves wisdom moments before death
Death is nothing to be feared
Good behavior will always be rewarded
Good behavior is no guarantee of reward
The existence of physical and internal suffering. Suffering is often intertwined with other themes.
Is all about keeping secrets from others. It can be physical or social.
(10) Coming of age:
Growing up is not easy. Children and young adults mature through various events and learn valuable life lessons in the process.
Other Common Themes:
Themes connected with Human Relationships:
Parents are flawed and great damage to their children
Parents should not sacrifice all for their children
Old men will always be betrayed by their young wives
Loyal friends should be valued, but are often tested to the extreme
Themes connected to man’s Relationship with Nature:
People are destroying the environment
People stubbornly attempt to over-power nature
Love of nature is a spiritual enlightenment
Nature is indifferent to the needs of man
Man is part of nature
Rites of Passage:
Some trial or obstacle must be overcome in order to reach maturity
Some people never grow up entirely, we retain childish flaws
Adulthood is often arrived at due to a random crisis
Someone is isolated because he is too sensitive to deal with society effectively
The world is a callous place and it would be better to withdraw from it
Self-protection is a barrier to love
“Ten Common Themes” by Grace Fleming: ThoughtCo
“How To Build a Powerful Theme for Your Story” by Kristen Kiefer; Free online course: “Creating Complex Characters” by Kristen Kiefer through Scrivener.com
“Theme” WDC Newsletter edited by Mavis Moog November 22. 2006
Next week's (Thursday) entry will be on "Thematic Statements."
If you have any comments or wish to add any information please contact me. I would love to have your input.