T is for Theme

“I stick to simple themes. Love. Hate. No Nuances. I stay away from psychoanalyst’s couch scenes. Couches are good for one thing.” – John Wayne

The theme of your story is the lesson or moral. It is a subtle way for the writer to share a view about life.

The twelve most common themes in literature:

1. Man struggles against Nature

2. Man struggles against Society

3. Man struggles to understand God

4. Crime does not pay.

5. Overcoming Adversity

6. Friendship depends on sacrifice

7. Importance of family

8. Yin and Yang

9. All you need is love

10. Death and life

11. Sacrifice can bring rewards

12. All humans have the same needs

As a writer, you should not use theme to preach. The reader should be able to discover it through the characters, their actions, and the setting of the story. It should be the writer’s way to connect with the reader with an experience everyone can relate to.

What kind of themes do you experiment with your work? Do you start out knowing what the theme of your story is or does it evolve as you write?

Watch for next weeks blog. U is for unstuck. I attended a writer’s workshop in Minneapolis recently. The presenter was Debra Dixon. She gave us a method to use when you get stuck. I thought it was very helpful and I think you will too.


Liebster Blog Award

Thanks to Dawn Allen for Nominating My Blog

First a little information about Dawn I pulled from her blog site

She is a professor and workshop presenter, the founding member of critique group, Novel Clique, and an active member of Midwest Pen and Ink. Her stories have appeared in Soft Whispers; A Fly in Amber; and articles with First Opinions, Second Reactions. Her short story, Taking Out the Trash, is in an anthology of revenge stories, Don’t Tread on Me. This says a lot about her and her writing. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska.

She can’t cook, but had the good sense to marry a man who can.Their two boys live in Oklahoma, and she’s proud of them every day. They are good human beings and gainfully employed. She has horses named Blaze and Storm. Life is never dull. Her parents live close and have been among her biggest writing supporters. Unfortunately (for them), they also provided her with a lot of fodder for her stories.


Liebster Rules are:

1. Answer the questions posed

2. Think of 11 questions of your own.

3. Choose 11 worthy bloggers(who have fewer than 200 followers) to interrogate and pay it forward.

4. Link back to the person who nominated you.

5. Post a comment on your nominees site to let them know they were nominated.

The Questions I need to answer:

1. In the future, resources are limited. You must choose between chocolate or wine. Which do you choose? Definitely chocolate.

2. Favorite genre to read besides the one you write? Women’s fiction.

3. That infernal deserted island everyone asks about…do you want the male model with you to pack boxers or briefs? Neither.

4. Favorite form of exercise? Walking or stationary bike so I can read while riding it.

5. Does your main character listen to hard rock, symphony, country or some other form of music? Oldies rock and roll.

6. How bad ass is your hero/heroine? What comic hero could yours best? (Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc.) She is pretty bad ass since she is a witch and can use magic. She could handle Superman because he would be so charmed.

7. You’ve won the Pulitzer Prize. What’s the first line of your speech? Well, it’s about time.

8. Your antagonist is on death row. What does he request as his last meal? Lobster, baked potato with butter and sour cream, chocolate and lots of hard liquor.

9. Your favorite pet? (cat, dog, bird, etc.) Dog

10. Cold weather or hot? Hot

11. Favorite food group? Chocolate.

Blogs I’ve Chosen to Nominate:

1. http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/

2. http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/

3. http://moongazygirl.blogspot.com/

4. http://leahkonen.wordpress.com/

5. http://inlovewithjournals.wordpress.com/

6. http://thewritersjunction.blogspot.com/

7. http://overachairfeet.wordpress.com/

8. http://occupiedandpreoccupied.wordpress.com/

9. http://haphazardtruths.blogspot.com/

10 .http://lesliemcruz.wordpress.com/

11. http://helpfromcyranette.wordpress.com/

Questions for my nominees to answer.

1. If you write novels, are you a plotter or a pantzer?

2. Do you start with character or plot?

3. Do you outline?

4. What is your writing day like?

5. What is your favorite writer’s conference?

6. What writer’s organizations do you belong to?

7. How long have you been writing?

8. What was the last book that you read?

9. What is your favorite genre?

10. How many rejections have you collected so far?

11. Who is your favorite author?

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