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Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-05-2013, 01:24 AM
Janice Hardy's blog discusses "career themes (http://www.necessarywriters.com/?p=996)".

In a nutshell: what is the central theme woven through all your writing, regardless of it’s genre? (if any).

Janice discusses "moral grey areas" as her career theme.

Do you have one? What you would like it to be?

Calla Lily
01-05-2013, 02:48 AM
Justice prevails.

dangerousbill
01-05-2013, 03:04 AM
Janice Hardy's blog discusses "career themes (http://www.necessarywriters.com/?p=996)".

In a nutshell: what is the central theme woven through all your writing, regardless of it’s genre? (if any).

Apparently mismatched people find love.

Jamesaritchie
01-05-2013, 03:26 AM
None, if I'm doing it right. It would get boring incredibly fast if the same career theme ran through all my writing. I've read writers who do this, but not for very long.

Life has more than one them, and good writers tell more than one story. Same theme, same story, no matter how you dress the characters.

Namatu
01-05-2013, 03:34 AM
I think you can tell more than one story and have similar themes crop up, explicitly or implicitly. Take the examples already given. They're general enough not to box a writer in to the same telling over and over.

The biggest theme I've noticed recurring in my stories is choice in the face of unpalatable options. Lots of sunshine and rainbows there. :D

Calla Lily
01-05-2013, 03:40 AM
Writers: Know why we all need to get rhino hide? It's not just to deal with query rejections and publisher passes and bad reviews. It's to fortify yourself against other writers who like to take potshots at you and your talent and your work.

Jealousy is everywhere, and no one knows everything.

Hey--including me! :)

Mr Flibble
01-05-2013, 03:50 AM
I have very different themes - trust and betrayal, hope and despair, jealousy etc,.

But things that crop up as 'not exactly themes but stuff what crops up'..loads. Insanity (write what you know ;)) struggling to be free (of whatever chains that bind, whether real or in your head), reality's nature, Stuff like that. They aren't the theme of the novel, (that is different every time)but they crop up while I explore the theme.

Fantasmac
01-05-2013, 04:00 AM
Definitely "subverting expectations", though I also like the moral gray areas

benluby
01-05-2013, 05:49 AM
You only fail when you quit trying.

CharacterInWhite
01-05-2013, 06:08 AM
Prejudice.

It's that little tic that people can't quite shake, yet readily deny they have.

kuwisdelu
01-05-2013, 06:11 AM
You are (not) alone.

BenPanced
01-05-2013, 06:37 AM
Shut up and kiss him, already!

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-05-2013, 08:47 AM
Great answers.


... good writers tell more than one story. Same theme, same story, no matter how you dress the characters.

... good musicians write more than one type of music? Same theme, same music, no matter how you "dress" the instruments?

Excellent writers and musicians can explore a theme in depth throughout their work. I respect and love Bach's fuges tremendously. In der Beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister.

On a less heavy note, Janice's blog is a treasure trove of info. This contribution did not strike me as prescriptive, only as an interesting exploration of one facet of writing.

My summary does not do it justice. So let's take the reasonable assumption this is not something writers *have* to do, but can contemplate to discover more about their own writing. Of course writers can have more than one theme, or have a single theme for a while, or stick to one theme indeed.

RedWombat
01-05-2013, 09:24 AM
Mine is apparently "ordinary person forced to save the day because no one else seems to be doing it."

It's not in everything I do, but it crops up a lot nonetheless.

Anna Spargo-Ryan
01-05-2013, 09:28 AM
... good musicians write more than one type of music? Same theme, same music, no matter how you "dress" the instruments?

Excellent writers and musicians can explore a theme in depth throughout their work. I respect and love Bach's fuges tremendously. In der Beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister.


This.

Mine is something like, 'people are surprisingly resilient.'

Anna L.
01-05-2013, 09:55 AM
"LGBTQ people can save the world too."

Putputt
01-05-2013, 02:47 PM
Hmm. My theme would be...

The feisty, pretty one is the first to die.

KTC
01-05-2013, 06:13 PM
My central theme? Hmmm. I always write about broken people and broken families...and how there is always a soulful light if you look hard enough. Redemption can be found in the most broken of people. Even sadness carries with it a pleasure. "There is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in." ~ Leonard Cohen

KawaiiTimes
01-05-2013, 06:23 PM
Pull your head out of the sand (or orifice) before you miss out on something great.

Most of my characters tend to have more orifice than sand.

crunchyblanket
01-05-2013, 07:31 PM
"Fighting the power" seems to crop up a lot, as do attractive, well-dressed bisexual men...

SianaBlackwood
01-05-2013, 07:44 PM
"Goats are the foundation of civilisation."

Actually, I think it's something to do with the outcast finding the place where he/she belongs.

Susan Littlefield
01-05-2013, 08:50 PM
To be honest, I have no idea. Good question, though. :)

J.W. Alden
01-05-2013, 09:12 PM
If I could narrow it down to one (or most common), it would probably be "You are your own worst enemy."

A.P.M.
01-05-2013, 09:43 PM
Outcasts triumph.

victoriastrauss
01-05-2013, 09:43 PM
The relativism of belief. Not so much in my YAs, but definitely the recurring theme in my adult fiction.

- Victoria

ArachnePhobia
01-05-2013, 09:49 PM
Considering even my MG and YA stories are misanthropy mines where "people are inherently fake cannibalistic hypocrites who will turn on each other at the drop of a dime" is the prevailing sentiment... it's weird how often redemption and the value of genuine relationships ooze through the narrative cracks. I just can't seem to get rid of them.

Jamesaritchie
01-05-2013, 10:35 PM
Writers: Know why we all need to get rhino hide? It's not just to deal with query rejections and publisher passes and bad reviews. It's to fortify yourself against other writers who like to take potshots at you and your talent and your work.

Jealousy is everywhere, and no one knows everything.

Hey--including me! :)

Yes, you're right. Jealousy is the only reason anyone ever criticizes another writer's work. It's never, ever because that work is poor, or because some writers write the same book over and over and over.

Shika Senbei
01-05-2013, 11:47 PM
My theme is "chocolate chip cookies". I love 'em!

Phaeal
01-05-2013, 11:57 PM
Mine is:

WOW!!! Beings!!!

Chasing the Horizon
01-06-2013, 12:03 AM
JAR, you dropped this. :sarcasm

I can only find one true universal between all my books. Society and authority = bad. Rebellion of all types = good.

I love destroying whole societies and overthrowing governments.

ETA: It's total wish-fulfillment, of course. I've always hated authority in real life.

Shadow Dragon
01-06-2013, 12:27 AM
A lot of my writing tends to focus on morals and the shades of grey between what's right and wrong, as well as pointing out that good things can come from bad acts and vice versa.

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-06-2013, 01:50 AM
Yes, you're right. Jealousy is the only reason anyone ever criticizes another writer's work. It's never, ever because that work is poor, or because some writers write the same book over and over and over.

The point of this thread (and of the blog) is for writers to think about themes that might tie their work together, that inspire them, themes they may only discover after having written several novels.

The realization such themes arise can help the writer consciously stick to them or opt for a change. Either way, insights gained in ones writing are useful.

Please keep the discussion to the intended aim, i.e. to discuss the topic of exploring themes.

If anyone is interested in creating a thread on writers who write the same book over and over, please go ahead. I have no interest in discussing it. It does not teach me anything useful about writing and, as my prior counter example on fuges showed, the two issues are distinct. We're not discussing formulaic work, the topic is themes. Working within boundaries can boost creativity. Working according to a routine recipe doesn't.

I can understand your reaction to the original posted thread to some extent due to my short-hand formulation.

This is the second time I made myself clear as to its intention.

Let's not hammer the same argument again and again either and move on.

calieber
01-06-2013, 01:54 AM
I'm afraid to ponder this too much because I'm worried about evaluating every future idea I have against it. For that matter, I'm not sure I have the best perspective to give a decent answer to that.

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-06-2013, 02:08 AM
Getting back on track:

Reality stranger than fiction rolled into fantasy.

sunandshadow
01-06-2013, 02:30 AM
My usual theme is about being open-minded and future-focused instead of prejudiced and past-focused. Today I was thinking about a different one, though. I was considering a personal experience where I started out enthusiastic about being a leader and taking on responsibilities. But after I took on the responsibilities I discovered they were wearing me down instead of being fulfilling. I had to wrestle with the question of whether I was being a quitter/lazy/assorted other denigrating terms. And also I had to figure out how to get out of the responsibilities without hurting the other people involved, or promptly finding myself bored out of my skull and frustrated that I no longer had any of the power and influence that went along with the leadership position. And all this made me think that would be a good character progression and life lesson for a novel. I wonder if there are any novels where a major character becomes a leader and realizes they hate being a leader and aren't suited for it at all, and there's nothing wrong with that.

ap123
01-06-2013, 02:48 AM
Enough. Feeling like enough, being enough, having enough. Explored in different ways in different stories, but I think that's a theme that runs through most of my work.

DeleyanLee
01-06-2013, 03:05 AM
I seem to be exploring the impacts of accepting responsibility in one's life in several of my books. Not sure if that's true in all of them, but in several.

Calla Lily
01-06-2013, 03:09 AM
Yes, you're right. Jealousy is the only reason anyone ever criticizes another writer's work. It's never, ever because that work is poor, or because some writers write the same book over and over and over.

I had a reply typed and then erased it. I admit that I played a passive aggressive card in my first reply, because I was angry. I'm not going to play passive-aggressive again.

James, I might have inferred snark in your original reply that wasn't there. I've seen dozens and dozens of your posts that appear to lay down your own personal law for writing that is set in stone for all eternity and that no one can ever write or get published in any other way.

My apologies for the jab. I'm going to put you on Ignore now. Good luck with your writing.

kkbe
01-06-2013, 08:02 AM
My goal was to intelligently contribute to the conversation, but I read the jealousy post, and then the other post talking about the jealousy post, I thought, wtf??!! Did I misunderstand the damn question? I was having a tough enough time trying to figure out what recurrent theme(s) weave through my stuff. . .

I wrote a response, deleted. Wrote, deleted. Left, dejected.

At least I came back and found out I wasn't a total doofus. Alas, I still can't pinpoint the theme(s) run through my stuff, and now I'm rambling and, therefore, not intelligently contributing a damn thing.

AEFerreira
01-06-2013, 09:06 AM
Love - what it is, the different kinds of love, what pretends to be love, and most of all, the risks people take for love and the price they pay for it.

The paradox between beauty and suffering in the world. The ways people try to avoid and numb themselves to suffering and end up cutting themselves off from love and beauty in the process.

The drama of evil, grace, and redemption (or not).

The joy and pain that comes from deep attachments to one's home and family.

MargoWest
01-06-2013, 10:19 AM
Exploring responsibility and duty - the kind you choose, the kind someone puts on you, and the kind that maybe you don't have any right to take upon yourself.

The power of friendship, and oh lord, there is no better way to write that, I really am an after-school special.

Leadership and teamwork.

GinnieHazel
01-06-2013, 11:47 AM
Surely the fact that everyone could think of their own little theme shows us that we will have one, whether we're aware of it or not. We all come to writing with a moving trucks worth of baggage and will be influenced by that every time we put pen to paper.

Kathleen42
01-06-2013, 12:06 PM
Nature over nurture over werewolves.

Bogna
01-06-2013, 12:24 PM
Bad boy falls in love with good boy or girl. I have a lot of bad boys in my stories.

Sam Argent
01-06-2013, 08:29 PM
Family, for better or worse, can make or break you.

Kerosene
01-06-2013, 08:34 PM
Gray.

lastlittlebird
01-06-2013, 11:34 PM
In a pinch, I suppose a few of my works explore why differences are no barrier to community.
But, I honestly don't think I have a career theme, not yet anyway. Or if I do I can't see it.

AshleyEpidemic
01-06-2013, 11:52 PM
With only two novels written, I can honestly say I don't have a theme. Maybe one will pop up after I get two more under my belt. The closest I can get is strength when facing uncertainty or the unknown.

Jo Zebedee
01-06-2013, 11:56 PM
I do a lot about mental health/ instability, anxiety, pstd, soldiering on, and what it takes to do so. I have no idea why, except that my characters tend to that side of meditation.

Buffysquirrel
01-07-2013, 02:15 AM
I'll leave this for the Nobel prize awarding team to decide.

calieber
01-07-2013, 03:24 AM
I'll leave this for the Nobel prize awarding team to decide.

This is how I feel. And doctoral candidates of the 22nd century.

Esper
01-07-2013, 12:55 PM
Family.

Rebuilding broken bonds and friendships.

acockey
01-07-2013, 09:22 PM
Everything is normal with a twist

Rhoda Nightingale
01-07-2013, 09:45 PM
Huh. What an interesting question. Mine's probably this:

Monsters are real. Make friends with them, and they'll have your back, forever.

heza
01-07-2013, 10:21 PM
I'm writing YA and MG, and even within both of those, it seems like my outlines and major arcs are showing that I like to write about:

Regular people rising up to achieve great destinies because they decide to give a damn.

And characters making it through just about anything because they kept (or rediscovered) their faith and, even if they were lost, helped others find their way.

Hiroko
01-07-2013, 11:47 PM
Good question! It gave me pause, but here is what I have identified in my written works:

No matter your loneliness, there is someone out there who fits you.
When authority is wrong, the people will try to make it right.

Oh, and
Robots = friends.
I like writing about robots.

cmi0616
01-12-2013, 09:50 AM
Distraction and absorption in trivialities to avoid morbidity and the general bigger picture.

Ken
01-12-2013, 03:57 PM
... vacancy.

OhTheHorror
01-12-2013, 04:34 PM
Run, or you'll be eaten. ;)

zahra
01-12-2013, 10:29 PM
Run, or you'll be eaten. ;)

Like that one!

kkbe
01-13-2013, 01:12 PM
I thought I had it. Nope.

clove
01-13-2013, 03:25 PM
Dichotomy between two opposing forces, usually East and West.

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-13-2013, 07:25 PM
Dichotomy between two opposing forces, usually East and West.

Balancing opposing forces would be one of mine.

stray
01-13-2013, 07:43 PM
People are strange.

benluby
01-13-2013, 09:12 PM
No great leader chooses that role. It is thrust upon them, and forces them to reach to new heights. That and politicians are lying sacks of shit that would curb stomp their mother for a vote.

kkbe
01-13-2013, 11:30 PM
People who don't fit the mold, trying to find their way, fucking up, trying to . . . wtf.

That's not a theme. :rant:

buz
01-13-2013, 11:37 PM
Insanity prevails.

I think that's it...?

Or something.

Don't hold me to it.

milkweed
01-13-2013, 11:37 PM
Typically my work revolves around the themes/subjects of abandonment, perseverance, and redemption and not necessarily in the same work.

As a visual artist I work in a series, I keep pushing until the works within the series until it either turns into another work/theme or entirely or until I feel I've exhausted the topic and then move on.

Right now I'm in a drought/famine/abandonment mode/theme with my work. The word "stoic" keeps popping into my head at the weirdest hours of the day and seemingly for no real reason.

kkbe
01-14-2013, 01:01 AM
Insanity prevails.

I think that's it...?

Or something.

Don't hold me to it.Wait, can I have that one? I'll pay you a dollar.

:D

frankiebrown
01-14-2013, 03:46 AM
I'll let y'all know when I have a career.