A narrative theme is, in essence, the meaning behind your story. It also serves to tell your audience what your story is about. Establishing it’s core early on enables you to keep it grounded and focused as you begin to unfold your characters and plots.
Despite a longer piece of fiction may tackle multiple different themes as it goes along, generally it is a good idea, at least in the beginning to have one core thematic idea. Examples of themes include, “coming of age”, “individuality vs the collective” or “scientific discovery vs religious devotion”. These examples also inform the overarching conflict of the story from which your characters can explore both within themselves and their interactions with each other.
Your theme comes through your choice of first or third person perspectives or through the use of a narrator. Do you focus on an individual’s struggle with the chosen theme and conflict or will you use multiple perspectives to explore a range of aspects surrounding the issue? That choice is up to you, but your theme should sit at the core of each character’s struggle.
For example, you could have a travelling priest whose faith is challenged when he is joined by a travelling companion who performs what look to be miracles, but belongs to a different religious order. Now this theme, “crisis of faith” can be applied to a science fiction setting to high fantasy.
A narrative theme grounds the story in reality with the genre providing the execution and set of expectations. Once your audience knows what the theme of your story is, they can evaluate the character’s motivations and interactions and come to their own conclusions.
What is the theme of your story? Let us know in the comments below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST).
Till next time lovelies!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, July 6, 2018
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+