T is for Theme

Do you have a theme? Does your manuscript have one? I found this definition of THEME on http://www.learner.org/interactives/literature/read/theme1.html

And this…

In most dystopian books, themes range from political/government oppression (wide scale) to a character’s internal struggle for freedom/[insert goal here]. Take The Hunger Games, for instance. Early on, we are introduced to the mockingjay–which would turn out to be a symbol for the rebellion/revolution brewing among the districts. But in book 1, we don’t know this, at least, not immediately. There are references to the mockingjay throughout, but as a reader we’re more focused on the outcome of the game and the fate of the protagonist. The theme is subtle, though it has the ability to seep into our subconscious so that by the time we finish the whole trilogy, everything’s come into full circle. 

Question of the day:

Do you write with a theme in mind?
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15 thoughts on “T is for Theme

  1. Yes, but I try to make it subtle and fluid. My theme is that even though our justice system is one of the best in the world, it still has flaws, it can still be unjust. Okay, it sounds really boring when I type it down like that!

  2. Since I write mostly YA, theme has to be so subtle. The reader has to draw the conclusions on theme from the actions/dialogue/plot. THE HUNGER GAMES, as an example, did that beautifully.

  3. Great post and I agree with Judy, it is interesting for a non-writer and kind of makes me want to become a writer! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog 🙂

  4. I definitely write with a theme in mind! I find that when I do, the book feels much more complete. When that's lacking, the ms is lacking. Of course, at the beginning, my theme is very basic. It develops as I go, and then I have to go back through revisions to make it really work. My current WIP's theme is Work with your strengths. Great post!

  5. I don't start out with a specific theme in mind After the book is complete, I sometimes find that I've subconsciously had one running through the plot.

  6. I think teenagers can smell "theme" from a mile away. I don't see how you can structure a story without some basis of a theme, but I think a very intentional "theme" rarely goes over well.

  7. I think teenagers can smell "theme" from a mile away. I don't see how you can structure a story without some basis of a theme, but I think a very intentional "theme" rarely goes over well.

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