04 July 2010

My Fiction Themes

The themes that I always seem to run into while writing are the diametrically opposing forces of any type. Sometimes I write about good and evil, sometimes black and white and then at times maybe the rich and the poor. It seems to come easier for me to play narrator when I can see and even describe both sides of a story without commitment to either side. It’s easier to write when you don’t feel the need to lie or hide whatever it is that you want to make visible, like an interesting story.

Take evil for instance. I like to acknowledge that it is there, but I also like to show it in other forms other than what most would find atrocious acts. Evil is a presence that can be felt and described without having to add guts and gore. Too many times, I enjoy embracing that evil presence, strengthening it in prose, and then in the end abandoning it or abolishing it altogether.

In reading back through some of my past writings, I seem to have two voices at times. One is the evil, crisp narrator who would promise world domination and adherence to a dark side. Then there would be the good, flittering and nurturing narrator who would tell of tears and joy. Though I seem to choose one or the other dependent upon mood, I really haven’t seen anything that stands out as a theme.

One thing that I do tend to move toward is empowerment. In much of my gaming life, social and political power in the eyes of the Deities is a big focus. So I think in much of my writing I tend to view my audience as being the powers that be, so in that respect I am basically writing for the empowerment of my characters rather than for the story itself, thereby missing theme altogether.

So in the end, what is the point? I loved the journey of that character. I loved that character. I loved the oppositional forces surrounding that character and I loved how he/she dealt with the obstacles encountered throughout their journey. I don’t know what all that means, but that’s the joy of writing for me.

I think what I can do to help myself develop a better feel for theme is to be more aware of what I’m bringing into each story. I should probably ask more questions about why I introduce things into my stories, like what is the purpose of bringing this new character into focus? What are my plans for that particular character (if any) and does it fit with my story? I think that if I question myself more when I’m writing, I may find that there is more of a point than just the journey itself.

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