1. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Theme

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Carthonn, Sep 24, 2009.

    There's a lot of talk about character development and plot on this forum which is great. However, does anyone think theme might play a big part in making or breaking a story/novel?

    So I guess I should ask:

    Do you like the entertainment? (Like Romance novels for women or Star Wars(bring it on))
    or
    Do you like it when it has a meaning?
     
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like my stories to be entertaining, yet if they can sneak some sort of deeper meaning into it I don't mind. When I read I want to read an interesting story for the entertainment. When I write I don't try and think of some great deep meaning for it all, I just want to give my readers to enjoy. Though if some deeper meaning manages to sneak its way in without me knowing, I don't mind.

    Which has happened to me before. I had written something and when I reread it or most of the time its when someone points it out. I sit there thinking how the hell that happened.


    But anyways, I have nothing against stories with meaning, and I often enjoy those aswell. But for the most part I am just looking for entertainment.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    For me, and I guess I'm not typical in this sense, it has to (has to) have some greater importance than just being entertaining. I mean, I'm all for a throwaway novel or two every now and again (I mean, I just read the latest Dan Brown book, and despite being an emotional and intellectual snorefest, it was fast and easy to read and entertaining). But for a book to have any worth to me, it needs to funciton on some deeper thematic, intellectual or emotional level. That doesn't necessarily mean that it delivers a particular message, only that it asks the reader to think about something, to question something, whether than something is a formal, intellectual, emotional or moral issue.
     
  4. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I've always hated the idea that you can see a mans soul through his eyes. I find that to be a horribly shallow ideology, and thankfully it seems most people tend to agree. Nevertheless, I like to think that we can truly find a mans soul through how and what he writes. That is not to say that only those who are brilliant with grammar and all the fine techniques used to weave a good yarn are good souls. You have to look at the meaning of the story, you have to try and understand the writers position and what he created.

    So there is my answer: I like reading and writing material that has a reason to exist, not soulless dribble.
     
  5. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    When I run down my list of favourites, I can see that every author I like has put a great deal of thought into what their stories are about (theme).

    Setting out to write a purely entertaining story is a worthy goal, IMO, but you still need to understand and develop the theme in order to do it well. . . If the theme isn't well thought out, the story probably won't be very entertaining or meaningful, either one.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Irish87

    I've gone so far as to unsubscribe all my TV channels except for one, because it's all endless reruns of FRIENDS and reality shows. There's enough drivel in the world as it is, and I don't see the point in adding more myself. The stories that stay with me forever are the ones that speak to my soul. I have a (perhaps naive) hope that I can reply with something somewhat meaningful myself.

    I think it's worth aiming for, at the least. If it fails, it might just become another piece of shallow entertainment, but why make that your initial goal?
     
  7. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I don't think anyone aims to be shallow. . and I don't see why anyone would poopoo entertainment.
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I think the nature of entertainment is something that varies from person to person as well...I find Ulysses to be entertaining to read, and yet I'm sure there are people who would rather eat their own hands than have to read it. Sometimes entertaining is synonymous with intellectually challenging, or stylish, or formally innovative. Sometimes its synonymous with imaginative, emotional, erotic or action-packed. It seems, then, that entertainment is a by-product of most texts, that they're not designed to entertain, but that intentional aspects of them provide entertainment.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i just like a good story, with engaging characters, that's told and written well...

    i never consider or even give any thought at all to 'theme' or any other jargonistic gluck... i just read and enjoy [or not] the experience...
     
  10. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I think theme is very important. I don't see a point in read a novel if it doesn't mean something. The thing is, it is nearly impossible to write a novel without a theme, even if it wasn't the theme you intended, even if you were ignorent of what theme means.

    Even Twilight has a theme, one I doubt she intended to be there.
     

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