Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [theme]

'Theme' refers to a message being conveyed to the reader by the author, through a piece of creative writing, usually a novel.

13
votes
4answers
878 views

What should tie a collection of short-stories together?

Short-stories are a nice format to write. If you have been an aspiring writer for at least one year, it's quite probabile that you've got at least three short stories drafted out, sitting in some ...
6
votes
4answers
122 views

Fictional races and fictional racism

Possibly related questions: Should I add racism in my book's world or have my world have no racism? Is accurate human nature required for good writing, even in fantasy scenarios, or with ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Crossing the line from Middle-Grade to Young-Adult

I would like to followup on this excellent question which outlined differences among works for children, middle-grade, and young-adult. What are some clear differences in theme/story between children&...
36
votes
10answers
8k views

How can I portray body horror and still be sensitive to people with disabilities?

Building on my answer in Proven psychological or scientific means of scaring people?, I'm working on a universal horror-theme structure for a branching-narrative series with an occult detective. I won'...
13
votes
14answers
8k views

Story that's too depressing?

(Warning, mention of sexual abuse!!) In the near future where humans have polluted and radiated the Earth so much that animals and plants have been going extinct at alarming rates and humans ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

Too much death? [closed]

(This is just an idea for an ending to a post-apocalyptic novel that I'm writing. I've asked other questions about this story before.) In a post-apocalyptic world, my MC Eris and others like her ...
9
votes
4answers
822 views

Struggling with the number of themes in my work

So, I'm a big picture person. What I like best, in life, and when I write, is bringing a lot of very different elements together. But as a result, both my fiction and non-fiction tend to be ...
27
votes
9answers
10k views

What do you do when your message could be dangerous?

I've long believed that for a novel (or any kind of fiction) to have a certain weight or power behind it, there must be a message. I've been writing this why for many years, and it's lent my fiction ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I focus on ideas which the market enjoys, or ideas which I enjoy?

Two approaches to writing: Writing about ideas that are currently 'hot' in the market (a bit like when the Hunger Games came out, many authors quickly released books which incorporated the same set ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Creative Non-Fiction - Writing without Plot, Story, Characters or Ending

I've just started reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and it strikes me, when reading about his obsession with Arsenal that I too have an obsession - with words. I would like to write a creative non-...
8
votes
8answers
4k views

How do I include a powerful theme in my story without making it blatantly obvious? [duplicate]

I want to have an underlying message in my writing but I really don't want it to come across as annoying or too preachy. Thanks!
3
votes
4answers
76 views

How far underneath the surface is the message of a story?

It seems like in some stories, you can feel the theme pervading through every element. In other stories, you don't know what you're reading about until the very last line. I'd guess I lean on the ...
2
votes
4answers
216 views

Finding a thematic setting

Allow me to explain what I mean by 'thematic setting'. I'm talking about a setting which, simply by having the story located in it, shows the reader something: ideally a message - or theme - that you ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How can you deal with the darker themes of a grimdark setting without being edgy?

Many grimdark settings focus on the darker aspects of human nature (war, murder, rape, etc). Some portray this to be edgy in order to paint the world as dark or mature without reason. An example would ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

“just telling the tale” - does this work?

I know (I think) many stories that have a point they want to present to the audience. However, I wanted to focus on the excitement of the adventure first. The result always seems to devolve into a ...
3
votes
4answers
179 views

How can I make the final realisation less depressing?

Most stories carry some element of realisation. Whether that realisation is the best sort of fireball for defeating the Dark Overlord, or how I can lessen my pride to make my marriage work, the ...
1
vote
4answers
205 views

is thematic character naming off putting?

Is naming a character to go with a theme or setting of a novel off putting for the reader? Does this pull them out of the story? For example: A character named digit in a cyberpunk future or one ...
3
votes
2answers
363 views

What are general strategies for making the reader uncomfortable with something they might not naturally be uncomfortable with?

I'm working on a prose that depicts a sexual act that I feel readers should be uncomfortable with. I'll spare you the details, but the short version is that the main character is turned on by a ...
9
votes
3answers
410 views

Can a novel without any death be taken seriously?

I was asking myself this question while writing a novel that don't imply any death or even really dramatic event ! The novel tells about the main character's strugglings and conflictuous relationships,...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Various sci-fi themes [closed]

What are some specific sci-fi themes I could use to structure my story? I have some parts about a sci-fi story here and there written down but I can't put them in the bigger picture. What I know for ...
1
vote
1answer
883 views

How to hack Scrivener's appearance or add binder to full screen composition mode?

I really enjoy using Scrivener to write. I don't actually use all of its features -- in truth, I would be satisfied if the program only offered its full screen composition mode plus the binder on the ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Strategy, tactics, and resources to refine the niche and title for a self-help book

Am trying to do due diligence to find the niche for a self-help book. I "get" the general idea of whether to piggyback or avoid popular titles, being exquisitely specific about your reader, and ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Motif, or something else? [closed]

The "Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe greatly touches upon the conflict between the wealthy and the poor, with one of Poe's purposes of writing being to arise sympathy and possibly guilt ...
3
votes
4answers
574 views

How to Develop a Theme Before Writing a Novel

I've given some thought to this, and I decided that I want to either make or find a theme to my fantasy novel before I really get into it (as I have started a couple pages already). I did some ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

Is BDSM becoming mainstream?

Seems that in the last decade there is more and more stories with a BDSM arc. For instance: The Fifty Shades series The Sword of Truth series The Black Dagger Brotherhood series I remember when I ...
3
votes
6answers
325 views

Where does the power granted by a theme come from?

A novel that has a theme - that is, something to say, a message - has a weight to it that a novel without a theme cannot achieve. I'm sure there are those that might disagree with this, but I believe ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

How can I have my characters do bad things, without sending the wrong message?

I am writing a novel in which characters do bad things to one another. For example, I have recently been struggling over a scene of domestic violence. Essentially, a husband hits his wife, after the ...
5
votes
5answers
831 views

Is it bad idea to directly state the message/moral of a story?

I realized I tend to state directly the message/moral of the story in my stories (as dialogue in most of the cases). My plots are rather ambiguous, though. And I use a lot of metaphors/symbols so the ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

Tips for analysing character's role against the novel's general theme?

I'm answering a few questions based on Atlas Shrugged in the form of an essay, wherein I am required to discuss a particular character and relate his role to the theme of the story. Kind of clueless. ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

What are common attributes of the Steampunk genre?

These attributes could be character archetypes or traits, attributes of the setting, characteristics of plot or pacing, and broader themes. Essentially, I'd like to build a definition of the genre by ...