New to Themes

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    Hi! I’m new to writing themes into my stories. I might have unwittingly written it into my stories in the past, but now I want to be more intentional about it. Especially when it comes to more realistic stories. Does anyone have any advice about writing themes? Thanks!

    "If life were short, where would all the adventures be?"
    - anonymous

    "We're all mad here."

    Katherine Baker

    Hello @wonderland7,

    I’m also pretty new to intentionally using themes, so I’m going to sneak in and listen to what everyone has to say.

    I do have a question about whether a certain piece of advice I heard is good or not: I once heard that some people don’t intentionally add a theme into the first draft. They write it first, reread the story afterward, find out what theme was unintentionally in there, and expand that one. Before I give this as advice I must ask: is that good advice?

    Great topic! I can’t wait to hear what’s said.

    Always remember you're unique...
    ...Just like everyone else


    @wonderland7 @kb-writer

    Interesting topic! I guess, like many things, it depends on the situation. If, say, you were inspired to start your writing project because of a bible verse or because there is a certain truth you want to share with the world, you can deliberately weave your theme in your decisions about your plot, characters, setting etc. That would constitute using writing themes more “intentionally”, I suppose. Though I can see that doing things this way might run the risk of the writing getting “preachy”.

    But if you went the other way and began your story with ideas about the plot, characters, setting etc. you would need to find the heart of your story and what theme to explore with your character arcs (i.e. what is the moral lesson?). I don’t think the “don’t intentionally add a theme into the first draft” is a strict rule, especially in cases where the appropriate theme is obvious. For example, my WIP is still in its first draft and my plot touches on things like celebrity culture so the theme of “people may not be what they seem to be on the outside” and “true love/beauty is not based on appearances” is kind of expected.

    Selah CJW

    @valtmy  I agree, I think you need a theme to start off with for a great story basis, and go from there!

    Assistant Guildmaster of the Phantom Awesome Meraki
    ~ Created to create ~

    The Fledgling Artist


    I don’t know if this is at all helpful but The advice that’s impacted me the most in crafting themes is that, the most honest and vulnerable writing is often the most moving and powerful. Writing about the questions and struggles I myself grapple with can be uncomfortable, but it will be real. And I think that’s what all readers are really looking for.

    You’ve already gotten lots of really good advice here, but that’s my two cents.

    Have a nice day, Wonderland!

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

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