08 October 2012

Theme as a Touchstone for Writers

A definition of touchstone on thefreedictionary.com says: an excellent quality or example that is used to test the excellence or genuineness of others.

A thematic significance statement becomes a sort of touchstone for writers. A statement that best represents your entire story shines as an excellent example to test the excellence of each scene in relationship to the whole. 

Theme Exercise:
1) Write a thematic significance statement you believe best represents the deeper meaning of your story.

2) Ask yourself:
  • How does the thematic statement apply to the protagonist's internal and external plot? 
  • How does it apply to the antagonist? 
  • What about to the romance plot? 

3) Arrange the different themes and ideas that seem the truest to your story into ten thematic statements (use words you often say when attempting to convey to others what your story is really all about). 

4) Hone the ten statements down to one that incorporates all the major elements and feels like the truest and best representation of your entire story.

5) Write that statement where you will see it every time you write. Use the thematic significance statement as your touchstone and a continual reminder of the focus of your story. Let the thematic significance statement help guide you.

For more about the importance of theme in stories and for more help and examples and exercises to develop a thematic significance statement of your story, see "More Plot Tips" below.

Coming Soon!
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing is available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter