Yesterday, amid my wishing for an HBO series on Hatshepsut, Amalia wrote that she wanted people to think when they read her book.
Okay, so that’s much more noble than an HBO miniseries. 🙂
In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he mentions that one should never start off writing a book with a theme in mind, but instead that the theme should come later. I gave myself a gold star when I read that because I feel like HATSHEPSUT: FEMALE PHARAOH definitely has a coherent theme, but it wasn’t something that I planned to write. I just wanted to tell her story, but discovered during the revision that the whole novel revolved around one key question.
How much do we control our own destinies?
For those of you who critiqued my query, you probably picked up on the fact that Hatshepsut has a lot of obstacles in her path to becoming Pharaoh. Some are of her own making and others are blamed on the gods (although that’s open for interpretation as well). I rewrote the ending, leaving the final message open for the reader to decide. I like books that make me think, ones where I’m left pondering long after I finish the story (Life of Pi!).
So that’s the overarching question in my book, what I hope readers will think about. Does your book have a theme, some big question hidden within its pages?
SON OF MAGIC is about memories. Specifically, if our memories make us who we are, then what happens when the things you're remembering never happened to you?
CALLARION AT NIGHT has developed into being about forgiveness and duty. The MC has a heckuva lot of anger issues, but discovers that most of that (the anger directed at her mother) was entirely unfounded. So she, the MC, has to forgive that in order to move on.
Oh, I like that. I definitely didn't plan a theme, but ones are emerging as I go. I will probably go back and try to make sure the emergent theme stays consistent throughout the book.
I love it! (And I loved Life of Pi). I'm trying to think of a way to phrase the theme in my book… and I can't. I think it's about facing fears.
haha! Well, it isn't as though I'd say NO to an HBO mini series if it came my way 🙂
I loved Life of Pi too. I loved the part where all three religious leaders confront him, and he says "But I just wanted to love God" or something similar (it's been a while). If we could all capture that purity in our hearts–that desire just to LOVE that does not distinguish between sects, I think the world would be a better place.
Theme is something I think I struggle with. Or maybe I should say the Themes within my book struggle with one another. I need to go back and read my manuscript again, but I kind of want to flog it to death whenever I start reading it, so like you, I'm taking a break on revision 🙂
My theme is vengeance. I have a thing for vengeance, haha.
But there's a lot of underlying themes, too: love, doing the right thing, best laid plans gone awry, etc.
My theme is forgiveness. If we could all tap into the power of forgiveness there awaits a supernatural healing us all.