Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Make it about one central theme.

The best advice I've ever read from multiple authorities (play-writes, authors, publishers, news editors, teachers, etc.) is to make it about one theme.  Boil it down to what is the moral of the story.  Having a central theme makes it easier to formulate a premise (and thus get rid of extra crap you don't need to tell a story or convey an argument), but more importantly--I think that it makes writing a lot more interesting and exciting.

My book "A Walk Away" will be published in May, and much of the joy of writing and editing it has come from the fact that it has always had one meaningful theme for me:
All of life is sufficing and sacrificing one happiness for another and then adapting to your new balance of happiness.  Sacrificing and sufficing for a chance to love is the greatest happiness and human calling of all.
I think all kinds of stories can be told around such themes, endlessly.  As a writer, the exciting part is getting to decide on the details and shape the premise to reveal that theme from my character's perspectives.  And hopefully, the inevitable revelation of that meaningful theme as the story unwinds strikes a satisfying chord with other readers; but even if it doesn't, I'm satisfied I told a story to the best of my ability.

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