1. Syph
    Offline

    Syph Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    England

    Do plots develop a theme or vice versa?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Syph, Apr 20, 2010.

    Can you decide on themes to develop a plot? or should a well written plot develop its own themes?
     
  2. lucifer1101
    Offline

    lucifer1101 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    In the book "Writing Fiction For Dummies" it describes that to get a good them
    is to firstly develop a plot and look for a recurring theme and work with it from there..

    I am new to the writing scene so I may be wrong on this, in which case a more
    reputable member may be along shortly.
     
  3. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    It can happen either way around. There are plenty of examples where a writer has set out to write about theme X and developed a story that lets them explore it, and on the other hand there are many novels (probably more, not that that counts for anything) where the author begins with a story or idea for a story and from that a theme becomes apparent as described above.

    Personally, I prefer writing and reading stories that use that first method, although if the book is good you can rarely tell which is which.
     
  4. B-Gas
    Offline

    B-Gas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    14
    If you plot out your stories before you write them, then the theme will probably make itself known pretty quickly. If you write by the seat of your pants, a theme is useful to steer the story back on track once it inevitably kicks off the rails and goes headlong into a tangent.
     
  5. lucifer1101
    Offline

    lucifer1101 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    The different writing descriptions are
    If you didn't know already.
     
  6. Halcyon
    Offline

    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    England
    I personally think that it's important to have enough of a "plot" to sustain a story through the first quarter or so, but after that I heartily recommend just letting the story go where it wants to. I think one of the worst things you can do is reach a certain point in your writing of it, come up with a really great idea, and then dismiss that idea because it takes you off in a different direction from any strict plotline that you've dreamed up.

    If you're determined to stick to a particular ending, then it should still be possible to bring the story back to your plotline, a bit like coming off the interstate and taking the scenic route, but still arriving in the same city at the end of your journey!

    Always try the road less travelled. :)
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    why worry about 'theme' at all?... if you're telling a good story with a workable plot, why would it matter if there's a theme, or what it might be?
     
  8. Phantasmal Reality
    Offline

    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Good point. There's really no rule that states a story has to have a theme. In fact, your readers will probably find one--probably not even the same one!--even if you don't consciously try to weave a theme in there. Just focus on writing a good story; let the world muse about what it means.
     
  9. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Themes often work their way into a story without conscious intent on tje part of teh writer, frequently reflecting the wriiter's personal beliefs or ethics.
     

Share This Page