Welcome to my blog, Write To Live. This is a blog dedicated to the literary works of Michael Beers as well as an informational blog about writing.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Thematic Theatrics - Are you doing it right?

I was reading a story for critiquing the other day and I came across a problem I commented on regarding a theme using imagery.  They're great to use for a writer as it is a creative way to get your point across.

However, there is a fine line when writing out your stories with them.  Too little and the theme fails to get the point across.  Too much and your story is oversaturated.  Granted, many would say it's better to be oversaturated and remove as you go along, but how do you know you're removing too much...or removing the wrong part.

Therefore, writers, you need to follow these simple rules.

1. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.  The more involved you make your theme, the longer your work will get.  If you're writing a novel, that's great.  But, if you're writing a short story and try to go into depth about the sunset, chances are you're going to lose you reader somewhere in the mix.

2. Through and Through - Your thematic device should be used throughout the story.  So, if you want to have a recurring line come into the reader's minds, you should use it...over and over again. (hense the name recurring).  Don't drop your theme anywhere as it helps to keep the reader tied into what you mentioned before.

3. The Big Finish - Denouement should be when everything (at least) feels completed.  But, are you making sure to use your thematic device at the end as well?  This is a point where if you wanted to really hammer the image home, you should.  Show why the image is especially relevant at the end.  If you don't, you fail to grab the reader's attention.

4. Keep it Light - Don't try to overfill your story with tons of images (unless that's your theme like the modernists of the early 1900's).  If you bombard your reader with too many images, it will become a sensory overload.  Granted, you want a touch of sensory overload, but don't shoot at them from multiple sides.  Chances are they'll just surrender.

Random Sentence of the Blog
I have always kept to myself...that is, until I saw her.

"All of this stress gave me something to write on
While pain gave me something to set my sights on"
Linkin Park - "Nobody's Listening"

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