No. 3 of 22: Trying for a theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about until you’re at the end of it, think plan write… Now rewrite.
Writing anything needs to start with a loose plan. As with any exploratory medium your plan will adapt and change depending on the landscape, circumstances and timing. In the aspects of change, Story telling is no different than mountaineering. You might often find you are hitting a dead end and have to track back to find a way round. Or you might need to revisit an old camp site for the night if you can go no further under the current conditions. when writing many people mutter ‘writers block…..’ What is writers block? My definition is ‘the stubbornness of a writer to carry on down a track with no inspiration’. If that happens you just have to change.
What has this got to do with themes? You might ask that but think about it for a moment.
If a story changes and moves with the audiences attention, it becomes more organic, more compelling. The writer will constantly develop and change elements to create this organic feel. When a story that changes in this way how can you possibly know what the final themes will be?
Many times in my own writing the end product is a deviation from what I started out to achieve. This happens because as I write I find inspiration to flow into other areas. This changes the theme and build an initial draft. Once the initial draft is ready the most powerful themes come out and allow me to understand where the powerful points are. I then re-write the story based on these and see what happens.
This third rule is all about that. Write, read, understand and then re-write its like an old mantra for essay writing. Have a loose plan to start with but don’t be precious about smaller ideas. These come and go like the wind and rain.
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