Themes! - Page 3

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Thread: Themes!

  1. #21
    1. Could themes exist prior to the book, like good versus evil, and then the book just addresses them? So my WIP has a sentence about good versus evil. (Perhaps when a battle between good and evil is fought with a sword, good has no advantage.) Does that mean this theme is in my book?
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    1. Could themes exist prior to the book, like good versus evil, and then the book just addresses them? So my WIP has a sentence about good versus evil. (Perhaps when a battle between good and evil is fought with a sword, good has no advantage.) Does that mean this theme is in my book?
    Yes.
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  3. #23
    1. Could themes exist prior to the book, like good versus evil, and then the book just addresses them? So my WIP has a sentence about good versus evil. (Perhaps when a battle between good and evil is fought with a sword, good has no advantage.) Does that mean this theme is in my book?
    In a way; you can have books address 'issues' through themes. The theme in this case would be morality.

    Though no sentence can form a theme for the book; the theme has to be found throughout the work, like blood running through its veins. That or it should be in a sizeable potion, like a chapter, section, act, etc.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    All the questions above are thing you answer for yourself, making your own personal experience from the book. Other people will probably answer them differently. That's the beauty of literature.

    I tend to go on websites like the ones I posted and disagree with most of the stuff on there. It helps nurture the individual critical spirit, which I'm going to need if I'm going to get into Oxford (I'm taking the entrance test on wednesday).

    Ultimately, I see it like this: theme is not an answer. It's a question.
    So, I could see The Scarlet Letter as containing the theme of the punishments for sin? And I would be right? And I could teach it to my class and expect them to give that answer on the test?

    Same for the opposite, that the theme of The Scarlet Letter is the good consequences of sin? (Which is what one of Cadence's links suggested.)

    Cadence, don't you want to draw the line somewhere? Can I see the theme of The Scarlet Letter is the essential superiority of woman and the problems with a patriarchal society? (And teach that to my class, etc.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can 'How people deal with problems' be a theme?

    Then that could be a theme in The Scarlet Letter. And The Iliad and most of the books written since then.
    How to write a good start: Hidden Content . Useful, original information. Long and thorough.
    Includes Hidden Content (do you start with description?), Hidden Content (a favorite with publishers apparently), starting with Hidden Content (a lost art), and more.

  5. #25
    I'll just say right now: Anything can be a theme. Anything. The effect of maritime weather patterns on Missouri bricklayers can be a theme. How humanity deals with adversity can be a theme. It's all balanced between how the story is written and how the story is perceived.
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  6. #26
    Sometimes I listen to the A-Team theme.

    Does that count?
    Hidden Content

    Hidden Content

    "One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know." ~ Groucho Marx.

    "It is better to be feared than loved, if one cannot be both". ~ Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.

    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer". ~ Bruce Lee.

    "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few". ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

    "Give a man a mask and he will show you his true face". ~ Oscar Wilde.

    "He who learns but does not think is lost; he who thinks but does not learn is in great danger". ~ Confucius.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Sometimes I listen to the A-Team theme.

    Does that count?
    Still wanted by the government...
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  8. #28
    I could see The Scarlet Letter as containing the theme of the punishments for sin? And I would be right?
    I don't know. You'd have to convince me, and yourself, that such a theme is present in the story.

    I'd keep it all under the theme of morality, personally, because I like to leave themes open; it allows the reader to access said theme in the text more easily, leading to a more expansive discussion that can find the critical components of the theme without them being declared as limitations, or outside of limitations, in the first place.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    So, I could see The Scarlet Letter as containing the theme of the punishments for sin? And I would be right? And I could teach it to my class and expect them to give that answer on the test?

    Same for the opposite, that the theme of The Scarlet Letter is the good consequences of sin? (Which is what one of Cadence's links suggested.)

    Cadence, don't you want to draw the line somewhere? Can I see the theme of The Scarlet Letter is the essential superiority of woman and the problems with a patriarchal society? (And teach that to my class, etc.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can 'How people deal with problems' be a theme?

    Then that could be a theme in The Scarlet Letter. And The Iliad and most of the books written since then.
    I personally see these examples more as subjects or motifs than themes, but that may just be semantics. To me, a theme is an overarching concept weaving throughout the entire story that encompasses other subjects, symbols, actions, morals, motifs, variations, messages, etc.
    The beauty of writing is in the well crafted sentence.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by tabasco5 View Post
    I personally see these examples more as subjects or motifs than themes, but that may just be semantics. To me, a theme is an overarching concept weaving throughout the entire story that encompasses other subjects, symbols, actions, morals, motifs, variations, messages, etc.
    I feel the same way.

    Your average screenwriter will (from what I've seen) be able to tell you what theme is better than your average novelist. Theme (and learning how to use it) is a fundamental concept taught in screenwriting.

    Novel writers sometimes lack this knowledge—possibly because a large percentage of novel writers are self-taught. Screenwriting, on the other hand, has to fit certain structural and formatting expectations, so most screenwriters need to spend a portion of their time learning the craft from experts—which is where they are introduced to the topic of theme and given instructions on what it is and how to use it in the story.

    My advice is, if you want to learn about theme and how to use it, pick up some screenwriting books and learn from what they have to say about it. There's a lot of useful knowledge to be found on theme if you're willing to look for it. You might even discover you love screenwriting, as well!

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