So I reached the part in Story Engineering about Theme. According to Cliffnotes, the theme is the central idea of the story.
The plot is simply what happens in the story and the order of the story’s events, and the moral is the lesson that the writer wants the main character (and by extension, you) to learn from the story. Each of these serves the overall theme of the story. That is, the events of the story illustrate the theme, and the lesson that you learn relates directly to the theme.
I am just not a person who thinks, “I’m gonna write a story about Greed and its consequences.”
Story Engineering suggested describing your story (like an elevator pitch), do you talk about the events of the story or the underlying ideas? I would describe the events of the story, because I don’t feel comfortable about the underlying ideas. I don’t know about the underlying ideas – or maybe I have an idea of them, but I certainly don’t feel like I can talk about them with any authority. I suspect this is tied to the fact that I don’t – and you guys who read this (if anyone does) don’t care either – feel confident about being an authority on any emotion/moral/position. Therefore, I shouldn’t be writing about it.
Sorry for the psychoanalysis this morning.
Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. I am allowed to have an opinion, despite the fact that opinions are built from filters and are tied to expectations (which I try not to have). It’s okay.
Wow. Okay. Small anxiety attack there.
Short stories have one theme, and novels have several themes. I suspect the novel themes are all related though. And then there’s Premise. One website described premise as the overarching thematic message of the story. A less “Do it this way” website has another take on theme. “..Everyone takes away something different from a book.” Amen sister.
So it doesn’t really matter what I’m trying to say in my theme, just that it has one. People will take what they want from it. I’m not out to influence the world. I just want to write and maybe explore these things myself (and hopefully it’s not painful to the reader).
I hope your day runs well.