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Continuing on from last week, today’s tip is about themes. 

And what is a theme, I hear you ask? A theme is an underlying concept that appears throughout the book. Themes can be simple, eg Good versus Evil, or complex, eg  The Sacrifice of Privacy to Security.

With Awakening, I tried to set these themes before I started writing. 

And that was a mistake.

By setting the themes ahead of time, I ended up pigeon-holing myself creatively. The lesson I learnt from this mistake was to let my themes emerge organically.

Ask any writer if their finished book is exactly the same as their initial concept and you will hear that the end result often differs wildly from the original idea.

Planning is good, but you can’t plan out your inspiration. 

An example: my initial theme for Awakening was Identity (each character had a very strong identity and knew who they were and what they wanted).

While writing Awakening, I discovered that my characters were all liars. They lied to each other and themselves. No one was who they said they were (whether they knew it or not).

Thus, in reality, the theme for Awakening was façades.

The bottom line, let your themes emerge organically.

Thanks for listening, the next tip is “Complementary Characters”, look forward to it!