Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#42) --Theme

Do you plan your story's theme before writing or does it take shape as you write?

I have a shallow well of only a few common themes from which I draw typically, including :

  • marriage vows ("Posthumous," "Death Imitates Art")
  • betrayal ("Die Giftig Lilie")
  • perseverance ("Dance with the Devil")
  • righteousness like filthy rags ("Death with a Hint of Bronze," "Farewell")
  • self sacrifice ("Limits," "Fishnet Angel," "Sin and Error Pining")
  • living a lie ("Pleasant Valley Sunday," "How Does One Know")
  • the quest for family ("Cherry Hill," "It's Christmas, Baby Please Come Home," "Angels of our Better Nature")
  • true learning only comes through loss ("Once Upon a Time," "Take My Hand, Take My Whole Life Too (A Love Story)," "The Other, As Just As Fair")
  • redemption ("The Ghost of Christmas Past," "Nor Doth He Sleep")

Even so I don't typically approach a story with a theme in hand and try to beat it into place with a hammer.

I prefer to let it develop naturally as the story progresses because the characters lend themselves to it and because of who I am as the writer creating the tale as it filters through my imagination.

So, somehow, these are the issues I guess that define me as a writer, and I guess they always manage to sneak into my stories in spite of my trying to write around them.