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.

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32
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10answers
6k views

How to write a sincerely religious protagonist without preaching or affirming or judging their worldview?

I am writing a book in which one my main characters is a devout Catholic. His struggles with reconciling his religion and his experiences in life are crucial to his character and I'd like to portray ...
6
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3answers
198 views

Balancing setting, theme, and character arcs: how to deal with a setting that carries emotional weight but is left behind?

When writing a story, how do you find a good balance between the significance of different elements, such as plot, themes, and bold settings and characters, and the character arcs? In my case I have ...
7
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1answer
142 views

The who, when and where of what has been written

Question: Is there a resource that categorizes existing fiction works by themes based on the authors' demographics (e.g. gender, age, historical period, geographical location, etc...)? For instance, ...
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6answers
1k views

Picking a theme as a discovery writer

When I write I often don't have any great meaningful moral to share. I don't have a message that I want to convey to the reader. I often don't write about the nature of the battle between good and ...
15
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6answers
5k views

Do I really need to have a message in a novel to appeal to readers?

I am in the process of the writing a book. It is not my first attempt. My goals for the book are: Naturally, appeal to my target audience and with work and luck, sell well. Invoke the same emotions, ...
3
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5answers
89 views

Does success imply validation and agreement?

When I write I always want to deliver a message. Not matter what I'm writing I ultimately have something important (to me,) to say. For that reason I try to be very careful about how I deliver certain ...
15
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5answers
1k 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
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4answers
421 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
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2answers
152 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&...
38
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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'...
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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
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1answer
283 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
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4answers
934 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
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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 ...
15
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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 ...
5
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1answer
232 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-...
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8answers
5k 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
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4answers
143 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
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4answers
263 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
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5answers
2k 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 ...
3
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3answers
171 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 ...
2
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4answers
229 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 ...
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4answers
224 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 ...
2
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2answers
451 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
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3answers
477 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,...
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2answers
134 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
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1answer
907 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 ...
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2answers
111 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
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1answer
37 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
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4answers
646 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
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1answer
361 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
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6answers
396 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
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10answers
3k 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 ...
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5answers
1k 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
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1answer
250 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. ...
12
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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 ...