1. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    What's the Greatest Central Theme In a Work of Yours?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masked Mole, May 21, 2015.

    I was interested in hearing everyone's best (in the author's opinion) main theme in a story.
    Mine would pretty much have to be a novella I wrote about a comedian. It was fascinating for me (and hopefully for the reader) to be able to pick apart the brain of a performer and show what makes him tick. Having a witty and charismatic, yet flawed person allowed me to explore a lot of compelling themes.
    Anyway, let fly with yours.
     
  2. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    I like to probe schisms; often parity-based. My favourite theme right now is the broadening gap between people, power and politics that creates the core of the dystopian novel I'm working on (I do so like to be on-trend ;)).
     
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Insanity. Well, mental illness, but I get to use the I-word whenever I feel like it.
     
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  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Struggling for independence against the manipulations of a selfish parent.
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't know. I've used a few themes - artistic ownership,
    revenge making one sympathetic to their prey
    do breakdowns forgive behavior
    is personal space guaranteed
    greed as livelihood

    And three I haven't worked the angles out yet -
    Class division
    Identity
    And the one I'm working on right now is idolatry.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Should be interesting.
     
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  7. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Imagine that everyone you have ever met, everyone you love, suddenly forgets you ever existed. And from now on, people cannot remember you for longer than one conversation.

    I am trying to immerse the reader in this experience. I am toying with the human intellectual and social needs like being a part of something greater than oneself, mattering to other people, membership in a community, building an identity that transcends the physical self, etc.

    The climax of the story is a self-sacrifice. The protagonist chooses to continue living like this in order to preserve what she has accomplished behind the scenes in the community.
     
  8. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    The idea that even if you make the right decisions, bad things can happen.
     
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  9. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Wow. That's a fantastic idea. Nice job.
     
  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks. :) The concept of a forgettable character has actually been around for quite some time. It goes at least as far back as an X-Men mutant that inspired a fanfic author from a different fandom to give the attribute to one of the fandom's popular characters, treating it as a curse instead of a superpower, which in turn inspired me to create such a character from scratch and write a story that expresses the ideas and feelings that come from my meditation on my own intellectual and social needs and vulnerabilities.
     
  11. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    The central theme I generally use is the inner battle of my main character, how he fights his broken self.
     
  12. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    Why did you explain that you saw it elsewhere? Don't you know that you're supposed to take all the credit yourself?! ;)
     
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  13. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    The fact that inner conflicts in your life can hurt worse than a global one
     
  14. james82
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    james82 Member

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    ...that you can be so much more than who you are
    as well as... taking life for granted when you're young,
    because even that can be dangerous, as it is in my
    current story.
     
  15. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another theme I am excited to work with, although I have not done very much with the story yet:

    "The world's expert on love is the world's most unloving individual."

    But that is more of a hook than a statement of the actual theme, which is difficult to explain. I guess the theme is what human love looks like from a dispassionate analytical perspective / from the outside in.

    It should create cognitive dissonance in the reader between the respect this individual earns for its insight and dedication to what it does, and the reader's shock and disgust when he realizes he is starting to think like said individual.
     
  16. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    Deconstruction of redemption, justice, and guilt (the emotion guilt) as socio-cultural concepts seems to be recurrent in my writing. I like to have a hero whom the reader can't determine is either really good or really evil, but I avoid anti-heroes and anti-villains like the plague. Instead I leverage dramatic irony and unreliable narrators (who all have agendas) to challenge classical notions of good guys and bad guys. Then, I take that tangled skien and squeeze a truckload of balls to the wall adventure and action through it so that the reader doesn't get weighed down by that theme because its being fed to him in small, sparkly, spoon-fulls of monster-fights and mad men-escapes.

    At least, that's the goal. Whether I'm achieving it is something I have to leave to the reader to determine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2015
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  17. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    I'm beginning a massive project that has the general theme of ambiguity. The narrator has a very focused worldview, yet he has to reconcile that with a conflict (the Vietnam War) that was far from black and white.
     
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  18. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    The literary quality that it conveys. It's vaguely simple.
     
  19. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    On that note, after ten years, I'm still shocked the lead author of the DSM left his wife for a grad student.
     
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  20. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    I am using, corruption does not pay and karma
     
  21. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    Discrimination (of all kinds) and narcissism are probably two themes I've touched on more than others.
     
  22. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Hitch?
     
  23. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I think the theme for my novel is Maslow's hierarchy of needs, or more specifically, self actualisation. Buuuut I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to writing a novel or three. Yet. So this may need to be amended down the track. It's my first novel, so definitely my greatest ever theme used :D
     
  24. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The character I am working with is a shapeshifter that will lock you up, take the form of you, live your life, feed on the love other people have for you (draining it in the process, until no one loves you anymore), kidnap the person you love the most, lock that person up, take the form of that person, kill you, and then live out that person's life, continuing the cycle.

    So, not quite like Hitch. ;)
     
  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Well. No. Not quite. The original description sounded familiar (Shallow Hal, Hitch, something else I couldn't remember).

    Your story, having expanded it, sounds very darn cool. I'd read that :D
     

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