Meetup on Theme

I am not going to give the date of this session because I’m too lazy to go back and dig for it, but I remember it was Bala’s first session (he, the romanticist), and he followed on some good character and viewpoint sessions with one on theme. Now theme is easily defined as that thing that your book is about. Some writers begin with theme and develop it through the course of their novels while some insist that theme is incidental to plot and character, but no matter which side of that piece of bread you butter, your books are generally about something.

It’s always a good idea to dedicate one full round of proofreading just to identify thematic elements. You may find that some image or colour or element is appearing again and again in your work, and if you find something like that, you should grab at it and strengthen it so that your readers won’t miss it. Do take care, though, not to beat on it too much, because no one likes to be spoon-fed. Make sure you toe the line between making your thematic thread so loose as to sag and so tight as to snap and disappear. Generally speaking, a good time to quit is when your readers are asking themselves if “this is what you really mean”.

Anyway, here’s the material from the session.

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