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Todays discussion revolves around how to choose a theme for your story. A theme is the subject of your discourse; or what it's about. Sometimes I find, as I did today, it's difficult to decide what I want my theme to be about. But I was recently given an excellent suggestion for deciding on my theme. Today's theme is educational and informative.
Choose your character, the setting, and the point of view while you are deciding. Begin your outline of chapter one. In that first beginning outline, your theme will usually start to solidify in your mind. Is your genre fantasy or sci-fi? Or Romance? Perhaps you want to have a theme of a coming of age story or man against machine. Perhaps it's more or a Western and it's the good guys against the bad guys. Whatever you decide, that is what you need to focus on as you create your story, trying not to get side-tracked as you go.
Remember not to confuse theme with topic, or what your basic plot is. You have a topic: boy meets girl, boy gets girl and then the theme; love and remembrance, or coming of age story.
Your theme can be subtle or loud. But either way, it must be believable. Even if you write way out there fantasy, make sure the reader can shake his/her head in agreement and say, "Yep, that's right!" Make your theme acceptable to the reader and you will have hooked them into your story. Now, pick a theme and write! What are you writing about? What's your theme?
The theme with my picture could be varied. I could choose to write about warring dragons (as my topic) and life and death as my theme. What would you do?