02 May 2013

Writer Hates Questions of Theme

The writer sends very little about theme in the pre-plot consultation material. The first time we talk about theme during the actual consultation I feel her shutdown and a bit of her blazing passion about her story fade. She doesn't give up. She keeps trying. Each success renews the fire.

Even so, during our last session, she cries out in response to yet another thematic question.

"I hate those questions!" she exclaims.

She prefers questions about the fascinating world she has researched and created. She loves explaining more about all the plot points that spin the energy of the story ever higher.

Her resistance and frustration about theme is not uncommon. We all want our stories to resonate with meaning and emotion and lasting connection with the reader and our audience. We just want that connective impact to happen by magic, all on its own through our writing without having to consider something as abstract as theme.

I persist. She continues to try. Whether or not she comes up with the exact right thematic significance statement doesn't matter. Knowing what questions to ask does. She knows those questions now. She'll continue to find the answers in the deeper meaning of her stories.

For an in-depth resource to all the questions to ask about theme when writing a novel, memoir, screeplay, refer to  The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories.


Visit our Thematic Significance How-tos, a series of 4 videos, at How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay?


Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot allows for a more loving relationship with your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts inThe Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing

Today, I write.

To familiarize yourself with the basic plot terms used here and in the PW Book of Prompts:

1) Watch the plot playlists on the Plot Whisperer Youtube channel.
2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3) Fill out the exercises in The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
4) Visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter