Tag Archive - theme

4 Ways to Subtly and Tastefully Present Theme in Your Novel

 

I find it curious that when I do a Google search for theme in fiction or novels, it’s hard to find blog posts or articles on the topic. I wonder why that is. Theme is such an important element of story, regardless of medium. Even visual arts, such as paintings or sculture, tell a story and often center on some theme.

I feel theme is so crucial to a great story that I chose it as one of the four corner pillars of novel construction. And while some novelists may argue that the genre they write in really doesn’t require themes (suspense/thriller, mystery, for example), for a deeper, richer story, themes are the ticket.

To get to the heart of the themes for your story, ask yourself questions:

  • Why I am passionate about this plot I’ve come up with?
  • What issues speak to my heart or upset me?
  • How can I have my characters embody these opinions or passions?
  • What kinds of conflicts in values, morals, beliefs, and ideas can my characters have that will enhance my premise?

Continue Reading…

Be Clever to Be Riveting

Has anyone ever told you how clever you are? No? Or maybe they said that to you but didn’t mean it in the way you’d wished. Sometimes being told we are clever is an insult, as if we’re being sneaky and deceptive.

However, I think clever is good. I like clever people. One definition of the word in Merriam-Webster is “marked by wit or ingenuity.” And what does ingenuity mean? Aside from “being clever” (don’t you love it when dictionaries give you circular definitions like this?), it means skillful in devising. Inventiveness. Continue Reading…

Altering the Quality of Time in Your Novel

I don’t think I’ve said all there is to say about plot (no indeed), but I want to take a little detour here to talk a bit about something I love seeing done well in novels—and that’s altering the quality of time.

In a movie there are all kinds of techniques the director and film editor can use to speed time up and slow time down. That’s part of what I’m thinking about here. But I’m going to talk not just about the speed at which time seems to move but also the quality of time.

If that seems like an esoteric concept, it is. But I bet you can think of instances or moments when time has felt different. Not just when it slows way down (like when you’ve had an accident or when you’re waiting for a doctor to come into the exam room with your test results ) or speeds up (getting old, in general) but when it feels different. Do you have any idea of what I’m referring to? Continue Reading…

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