Consider what a GPS can do: location coordinates, the surrounding area, and time information. This information allows you to find your way in sunshine, cloudy nights, and storms. Theme is the GPS of your poem, short story, novelette, novel, or seriaes. Know your theme and you will have your very own guidance system while navigating your current WIPs.
When navigating by GPS, you don’t want a fuzzy map. Whether you have plotted your journey ahead of time or are traveling by the seat of your pants, you need to know your theme so you can decide what areas are “great” for traveling through and which areas are “not so great”.
Great for what? Great for the reason why you are writing. There are many different reasons to write but a few (or just one) is your core reason for writing this piece and making this journey.
Knowing the driving themes of your piece will help you choose where to go next – whether just the next stop or every stop along the way. You can find your themes in many places – a central character, a central plot, a central idea, a primary emotion effect, or primary style.
Over the next several Thursdays, we will look at these different sources of theme. Up nest week: emotional effect.