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Author Topic: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)  (Read 930 times)

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Offline TheAnimeCloud

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writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« on: September 09, 2014, 08:39:30 AM »
i've been stuck on this for a while now i know what a theme is but how does go about creating it? does it go along with the plot of your story? can a theme be made out of anything? please help


Offline GingerStark

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 08:53:38 AM »
Well it all depends on what you want your audience to walk away with. Me personally, I want the scare the comfortable and comfort the scared so I get into themes such as sociology and psychology.

For most manga stories however (Espeically Shonen) the themes are pretty easy and relatable, as a majority of them are about overcoming your flaws to get stronger, friends are better than none, ect.

Just think about what you feel strongly about (Enviroment, Socialism, Cheese on Toast) and from there you should get the basics of a theme  :thumbsup:

Offline Coryn

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 10:01:56 AM »
for me, i like to tie up the themes of my story up with the characters as intimately as I can. the theme should be expressed through the characters, as well as through the plot. don't beat your audience over the head with it of course, but it should be strongly established in the beginning, and touched upon every so often.

i think a theme should develop naturally as you write. i don't usually have a theme when i start, but as time goes on i discover the theme that presents itself.

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Offline Vacant

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2014, 10:58:00 AM »
From the initial idea you have for a story, you would probably have some idea of what the theme/s will be. If the idea you have is like a galactic war focusing on epic battles, with a high body count, then you have a pretty good inkling of what theme's you'd like to include.

For me personally, I like to think of Themes as being split into two categories; The Emotional themes (The message of the story, the experience I wish readers to have) and Environmental themes (What the characters will be doing and where they are)

Offline NO1SY

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2014, 12:36:12 PM »
I'd honestly focus more on writing your story out than on the themes in it.

Themes are way more apparent in plot summaries and overviews but when you get down to the actual writing, often they only come through subtly in the story you are telling.

Themes are messages and concepts that form the background and foundations for your story to be based around. Often in Shounen it's a message like "Go all out for your friends" or something like that, that gives the main character drive. In other stories it can be more of a conceptual thing, like how Zetsuen no Tempest bases the direction of it's story off of two of Shakespeare's plays. Sometimes a character can represent someone from myth, but they aren't actually that person (they just share the same goal or take similar actions in their own time period).

The reason I would focus more on writing your plot than focusing on your themes is, while themes are important, often it's hard to write the story of your characters and detach yourself from the themes you want to show. You aren't writing a story about your themes, you are writing a story with themes supporting and underlying it.

Offline 50 Words for Paipis

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2014, 12:58:54 PM »
Themes come from characters. What fundamentally human issue is going on in your main character? What choice does he or she have to make? From that framework, what do the other important characters represent to him or her?

Also, themes are usually based in contrast. If the story is about rich oil execs the theme could be greed vs morality. Without morality, greed would not be an issue and without greed, morality would not be an issue, at least not in regards to greed. You must have two sides of the coin to explore. That is a theme.

Offline Lumaria

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2014, 02:24:34 PM »
What kind of themes are we talking about? theres the aesthetics, and then there's the philosophical or goal-oriented theme.

For example if you wanted to make a theme about how greed never gets you anywhere, you can start off a few premises that lead to that idea.

IF you're looking for aesthetics, look into one specific culture and see how much you can incorporate into your story. For example if you wanted "chinese" culture. you would be naming things off of specific chinese cultural references (and of course, it would have to be balanced)
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Offline TheAnimeCloud

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2014, 04:18:28 PM »
thank you to everyone who commented you guys are amazing this is helping me a lot!

Offline IronQuill

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 09:18:10 PM »
a theme is generally just a genre, just choose a genre exp "shounen" there are general themes that work for shounen, not saying you have to stick to those themes but then you just expand the genre "shounen/tragedy"  "shounen/adventure" "shounen/psychological" thats pretty much it

Offline Lumaria

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2014, 09:21:33 PM »
Themes aren't "genres" they fit a variety of things. Genres are just labels that help people figure out what type of story their reading. But themes aren't always labels.
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Offline IronQuill

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 01:40:45 AM »
meh... genres can help isolate themes, especially manga... if you like shounen and you want to write shounen their are certain themes  that work well within the genre, this is true of shoujou, seinen etc...off course if you free write using a genre to influence your writing is not gonna help you... but for me knowing what type of genre i want to write is an easy way to determine themes...all im saying

Offline Lumaria

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 02:02:29 AM »
those are demographics. not genres.
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Offline IronQuill

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 04:58:11 AM »
those are demographics. not genres.

i see how you would think that, but demographics is a genre in relation to manga as well, the other being thematic hence the reason i used "etc" after i said shounen seinen and shoujou infering the rest. probably would have been clearer if i used a thematic genre as well... shounen, seinen, slice of life, psychological etc

Offline Traviszell

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Re: writer in need of advice (how to create a theme)
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 05:40:01 AM »
A theme to a story only comes along after you have your story down and you know what you want to write. Building a story around a theme is a sure way to write a very bad story.

When writing a story it must come from you, and what I mean by that is that it must be something you want to write. Creating story's and books and mangas can only be truly great if it's something you want to write and it's something you love writing.

The story makes up the theme not the other way around, I would suggest writing down a story and finding out what the theme is you wrote. If you have a  full fledged novel I'm 100 percent sure you have your own theme in the story, you just need to find it.