Current Project: Dueling Projects
Status: Deciding which one to focus on!
I'd like to talk about theme as it pertains to writing for a moment. Wait! Don't run away! This isn't your high school or college English class--I promise there won't be a quiz later. Okay? Good.
Theme. I can't deny I still shudder whenever someone brings it up in a conversation about writing, or, say, at a writer's conference. I never enjoyed that part of my English classes when I was in school (and I'll confess in college I only took the minimum number of English courses required to graduate). So why in the world would I want to talk about theme in this blog?
Well, I'll tell you--I've been going through all my office stuff the last few weeks, purging what I no longer need and trying to organize what's left. One of the more interesting aspects of this has been looking through my stacks of writing journals. I've only been writing with the goal of publication for about three years now, but I've been writing for myself for a heck of a lot longer--well over 10 years--and I've kept most of the journals and files for all that time. Not everything, mind you, but enough to get an idea of not only how much my writing's improved, but also about what kinds of stories have interested me over the years.
Does it surprise anyone else that I recognized patterns, common...wait for it...themes, running through the majority of my stories? I'm not sure why, but I didn't expect it. It isn't that I'm telling the same stories over and over. It's that most of my stories seem to end up being about the same core things: the nature of good and evil, and discovering one's true self when the chips are down. (I also discovered a couple of old story ideas that I may resurrect one day, but that's a blog post for another day.)
Thinking about story themes still makes my head want to explode. But at least I'm beginning to recognize that themes exist in my writing, even if I didn't consciously plan it that way. How about you? Do you like talking theme? Or do you prefer to avoid the topic, too? Do you recognize the themes that run through your own writing? Care to share?