This week, Alida, Kathryn welcome Mike Stop Continues back to the show to discuss prewriting theme. We cover: 

  • why you should find your theme before you write,
  • why themes that are too timely are no good, 
  • being human,
  • the role of the character arc in theme,
  • how does theme work in your plot,
  • avoid writing propaganda,
  • writers’ relationships to the themes they write,
  • returning to the same theme over and over in our writing,
  • how readers connect to a writer’s work because of theme,
  • the role of journaling in finding theme,
  • universal questions—looking at story from the top down,
  • making sure every movement addresses theme,
  • the role of the subconscious mind in writing theme.  
 

VIDEO

 

AUDIO

SHOW NOTES

Should we have a theme in mind before we write our first drafts? How do we work it into our pre-writing? How do you avoid the trap of propaganda? How do you know when you have a good theme? Do we write the same themes over and over? And how do you factor theme into your supporting characters, plot, and even antagonist?

What we talked about:

Do we think about theme before we start to write? (1:20)

How do you come up with theme in the early stages of writing? (4:10)

How do you know you have a good theme? (5:03)

Theme is a part of our character’s arc. (7:40)

So how do you factor theme into the creation of your character arc? (8:20)

How do you choose your theme? Where does it come from? (11:48)

Do we write about the same theme over and over? What about within a series? (13:35)

How does theme factor into your outlining or storyboarding process? (18:40)

Expand your theme out of your protagonists character arc. (21:50)

How are the supporting characters reflecting the theme back to your protagonist? (24:30)

So how do you draft with theme in mind? (28:00)

LINKS

 

Things we mentioned:

On Writing by Steven King
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris 
Harry Potter 
Breaking Bad 
Macbeth by Shakespeare 
Hamlet by Shakespeare 

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 028 Emotional Wound Thesaurus
SWRT 029: Emotional Wounds & Character Arcs
SWRT 066: Theme

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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