Whether you know it or not, when you write a story, paint a picture, or take a photo, you’re choosing a theme.
Because themes emerge from all that we say and do. Yes, life themes repeat themselves — themes both good and bad — in the stories of our lives. When we start paying attention to those themes, we can consciously choose to live in forward motion that not only builds people up but also makes us truly happy on the inside.
Mind you, I’m not purporting to say that I’m even close to the mastery of positive themes that come out in the saying and doing. But, by God, I try. There’s effort, albeit flawed…honest effort. And out of honest effort comes eventual success. Because being honest with ourselves, and being honest with the themes that we live by, is a starting place to reshape the trajectory of our lives.
Themes are mandatory. if we don’t consciously choose a positive theme for our life, we deteriorate by default. It’s called the law of entropy. There is no such thing as status quo. We’re either consciously moving forward or moving backward.
Themes in story emerge. They’re not preached. Just like in our own lives, themes are lived out in the choices of our characters. Behavior. Words. Responses. If your story is a good one (and by that I mean it captures the reader’s heart and curiosity), then the Hero’s movement will expose the trajectory. And the Hero’s responses will twist and bend and refocus in the journey. And we’ll love him. We’ll adore her.
We’ll see ourselves in the Hero.
Oh, to believe in the power of NOW.
(It changes everything.)
I actually often start out with a theme which almost always is evident through the initial idea. Sometimes other themes emerge in the writing and fleshing out, or the theme itself changes or is more fleshed out in the process. I find any writing without a valid theme flat and not worth reading, right?
yes, I have a main theme that I begin with, as well. I love the process where additional themes begin trickling in…quite subconsciously…and emerge as important, by the end of the story. * Thup