We ain’t done yet my friends. Nope. We are not done creating our character arc just yet. We have our antagonist and our awesome-sauce ally. Now, take a moment or two and ruminate (<– Ha! I love words) in your ideas and the book’s theme. Ms. Hawker finds it easier to move forward if she fully grasps the theme of the story before jumping back into the outlining process. Let’s join her. Okay, so, yes, you need a theme in your tale. Your theme is the force that keeps your story cohesive and coherent. Your theme is one of the things that can make your book great. Remember, you must have a way to connect your main character and all your sub-characters and the antagonist. Theme, people. You need one. With that said, the author (you) may be the only one who truly knows the theme of your tale. It may simply be a way for YOU to pull it together and connect all the dots. Go YOU!
The theme of my blog is- I have no clue- clearly. But I am doing my best to try and help you be better at writing the words that I will some day enjoy. Goals, people. You must have them. My goal right now is to pour a fresh cuppa coffee and nibble on some granola and nuts. What’s in your cuppa? Nibbles? Yes, you can have your bologna sandwich with chips stuffed inside. If you haven’t done this, you are missing out. Geesh, now I want one. Any-who, grab your copy of Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker. Let’s all meet on page- I have no clue cuz ebook. If you look for the title of this post in your paperback, you will find where we are. Got it? Cool.
Themes can be as simple or extensive as you like. But why would you make this hard? Really? One of Ms. Hawker’s examples was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. If you are unaware of this story, what rock have you been living under? Okay, so this story/ theme is about how people grow into who they are meant to be. See, simple. You don’t have to draw and extensive map to follow. Keep It Simple Silly. Use your theme for the purpose of creating your outline. Ms. Hawker goes on to break down the theme of some well-known works. Read your copy for details.
Based on Hawker’s observations, the themes in these stories are what kept the tales strong and connected. If your goal is to write a series, then your theme will be necessary to keep the books connected. Side note: this is where your outline keeps you on track. You can use your theme as your guideposts. It is not uncommon to not know the theme right away. But once you understand your story, outlining will become much easier. Do not fear the idea of not knowing what the intention is. Sometimes, finding your theme may occur at the end of the story. That is perfectly fine as well.
If, however, you get to the end of your story and you are confused or have no clue what your connective theme is, chances are, your readers will feel the same. This can be a strong indicator of a broken story. Something somewhere went sideways. This is where you go back and look at your MC and their flaw. Is it a mirror image of the goal? Like, feeling weak and needing to find your inner strength. Look at the Story Core and the pace. Through this journey you should be able to find the disconnect and hopefully correct it.
- MC- who are they.
- External Goal- dangling carrot
- Antagonist- who is poking the MC?
- End- how the tale ends.
FLAW- why your MC isn’t perfect.
ALLY- Your Uncle Ben. Your Samwise.
THEME- What draws your tale together? What is the duct tape that holds it all together?
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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