Monday, November 25, 2013

Do You Have a Theme?


Congrats to author Susan J. Reinhardt! She's celebrating the release of her second book, The Scent of Fear


We'll share more about this book soon when Susan stops by on her blog tour. In the meantime, Susan offers her thoughts on themes and lessons learned in fiction versus non fiction in this guest post. 



Entertainment, Enlightenment, Enrichment 

I've written both non-fiction and fiction. A recent conversation with a reader had me scratching my head. The person dismissed my novel saying, "I just can't get past the fact it's something someone made up."

Really?

Most authors have a theme in mind. Their stories illustrate principles such as forgiveness, mercy, the consequences of bad behavior, the blessings of wisdom, and many others. Fiction, whether meant for entertainment, enlightenment, or enrichment, will put forth the author's views about life.

We're in good company.

When the prophet came to David and told him a story about a man with a cherished lamb and how someone stole it, the king was enraged. The prophet used a fictional story to drive home his point that David had sinned with Bathsheba.

Jesus illustrated many of His sermons with parables. They were stories with a message. Hmm, it seems to me that fiction is a vehicle to promote truth and ideas just as non-fiction is. It's a different method but a valid one nonetheless.

Writers and Readers: What's your opinion on the subject? Agree or disagree and why?


Thanks, Susan, for sharing with us! To learn more about Susan and her books, visit her blog. Find The Scent of Fear on Amazon.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a special Thanksgiving post. See you then!

Happy reading and writing,

Karen

22 comments :

  1. Hi Karen -

    Thanks for having me on your blog today. I always enjoy visiting. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your readers.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  2. I do agree that there is an underlying theme in stories though you don't want to beat your readers over the head with it. Even without themes, I love made up stories and exploring the new worlds and characters. Thanks for sharing, Susan. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and Karen.

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  3. I'm a theme writer. It's the glue that holds my stories together. The principles you mentioned are truth and there is nothing better to authenticate a story than these real life themes that wring true in a reader's mind. Funny, one of those things is the use of imagination. Blessings, Susan!

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  4. I write with a theme, and it wasn't something I even planned on doing. Stories are natural ways to pass on information. That's why Jesus spoke in parables - He knew it was the most effective way to get across a message.

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  5. Susan,
    You are welcome! I always enjoy having you over! :)

    Natalie,
    I agree on both counts. We can't beat the reader over the head, that's for sure. It's a balance! :)

    Carla,
    I like the way you put that! There is so much more to writing than people might think, isn't there? :)

    Alex,
    You know, that happens with me too, where a theme emerges sometimes. I wonder if it's because it's such an integral part of life, you know? :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  6. You are so right. I love to weave a theme in my stories. I hope to leave the reader thinking. Congrats on a second book,!!

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  7. Jesus often used stories to teach lessons. And He was the ultimate story teller whose stories always had a theme and a purpose.

    Write on, Susan. :)

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  8. Always need a theme ! Purpose is a great motivation in writing !
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com
    http://www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com

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  9. Terri,
    I agree, I think our goal is to reach the reader in some way. Take away value is important. Congrats on your book contract! :)

    Rhonda,
    You are so right. Susan is good at doing this too! :) As are you.

    Linda,
    You are right! It's interesting to see how things play out sometimes when we write, isn't it? :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  10. I think theme is terribly important in a story. It's writing to the subconscious of the reader, and it takes a writer years to get to the point where they can layer the theme in adequately. It's one of those aspects that once you've got, you are really ready to go as a writer.

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  11. Susan: I agree. You can get your point across in a story sometimes better than a non-fiction book. Especially for young people.

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  12. Thanks for putting in words WHY I love fiction! And why I love to promote Christian fiction. Amen!!!

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  13. I really like the title- The Scent of Fear. It caught my eye right away.

    Even when I don't have a theme in my mind when I start writing it is fun to see the way a theme emerges. :)

    Great post!
    Jess

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  14. Crystal,
    I think you are right. It is part of the package for a good writer! :)

    Jen,
    Yes, that's a good point! We can use our talents to help future generations. :)

    Cheryl,
    I'm with you! This is one of the many things I like. :)

    Jess,
    I know, the title makes you wonder, doesn't it? It is fun, I agree! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  15. Yes, I think the best of stories do have any underlying theme. Often, I've found that authors revisit the same theme in their bodies of work, but the story they weave around it differs from novel to novel.

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  16. Hi Everyone -

    Thanks for all the great comments!

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Susan :)

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  17. Lisa,
    Yes, I think you are right! It's interesting to see, isn't it? :)

    Susan,
    It's great, as always to have you stop by! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  18. The theme used to come to me after I started writing, but now that I'm more organized I see it while I'm planning.

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  19. Hi, ladies:

    Yes, every good story has a theme, whether fiction or non-fiction. Sometimes fiction can bend time and space and make lessons easier to understand than reality pieces. There are people who don't care for fiction. I have relatives who happen not to care for fiction. Every pot has its lid and, luckily for all fiction writers, fiction readers abound! While I do read a lot of non-fiction, I relish in a good fiction book, especially if it has an uplifting theme.

    Thank you for your thoughts on this topic!

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  20. Janette,
    Good to see you, as always! This is a good point. It is interesting to see how writers put it all together, isn't?
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  21. I agree that fictional and nonfictional writing needs a basic theme and these writing methods are not easy to adopt by everyone.Susan well describe the need of specific theme selection before writing and the more detailed guideline bestcustomessay.org for further assistance in writing.

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  22. Anisa,
    Thanks for your input. They are not easy to adopt, are they?
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!