Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Character and Theme

Most good stories are memorable because of their characters.

Most writerly how-to advice says to start with character.

I always had the themes first. What is this about? Only then the “who is this about” seeped in.
Developing the characters took care and deliberateness. The theme came naturally, the characters less so.

A few months ago, an unusual character popped in, and I followed this character to the end of the story.

One member of my critique group said, “Cute character, but you need to develop the theme.”

Blasted bubblegum! My way of writing had changed.

Of course, it isn’t either or. There’s more than one way. But for the first time I realize that no matter how old I am or how long I’ve been at it, I, too, am a writerly work-in-progress.

So the theme of this post is change is eternal 😉


Kelly Hashway said...

Writing is very much about what works for the individual. There's no right or wrong way to go about it.

Evelyn said...

Yes, change is eternal. But it often isn't easy. I agree with what Kelly said.

Vijaya said...

indeed. this is exactly why i love this writing life.

Janie Junebug said...

Ah, that's a lovely post. It can be healthy to make some changes.


Johnell said...

That's a good theme.

Barbara Etlin said...

Whatever works! Sometimes a writer needs to use different techniques for different books.

For novel #1, I started with plot, then filled in the characters that suited it. Theme came last.

For my WIP, I started with a main character, switched it to another character who would be more interesting, then theme, then plot.