Whichever theme you choose, all the elements, which make up your story, dialogue, conflict, scenes, etc should be written with the theme in mind.
Your theme should progress the story.
If you find that anything in your story doesn’t progress it, it should be cut when you are in the editing stage.
Before we see an example of elements written with a theme in mind, let’s think of a theme and a story….
The theme is…
‘Arrogance Leads To Humiliation’
Very briefly, this story is about a character that believes he is better than his colleagues.
His goal is to get promoted to a managerial position. What will prevent him from reaching his goal, is the fact that management are aware of his arrogance and they don’t believe, with his attitude, he is the right person to manage the staff.
To meet his goal, the character will take on more work than he can handle. He will do this to prove to management, that he is the right man for the job. But in the end, he will make a grave error and his arrogance will lead him to humiliation.
Now let’s take a look at the elements of this story…
The character’s dialogue will show his arrogance, by the tone of his voice and the words he chooses to express himself.
I will show my character is arrogant by the way I describe him and from how other characters see him.
I will explain what makes him think he is better than everyone else.
I will state his goal and show how it arises from the fact that he believes himself better than everyone else.
The setting is going to be in an office environment. I can show his arrogance through the setting by perhaps describing the contents of his desk (trophies) and his desk area in general (diplomas on the walls.) etc.
The conflict will come from himself. He is the one that creates it by doing and saying things, which create dislike.
The climax is the highest point in my story where the conflict and his arrogance will come to their peak. Here we will see how he tries to overcome the conflict and reach his goal by taking on more work.
I will end my story with my character’s humiliation. He takes on more work and makes an error in judgement. Which not only prevents his promotion but also gets him fired.
My theme here would have run its course.
Does each element of your story further your theme?
(c) Nick Vernon
Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers’ funny stories.
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