WHICH THEME IS APPROPRIATE PER GENRE?
So, you are starting a new fiction work, but you don’t know what theme to write in or you might not even know what kinds there are. I’m here to help. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Themes are sometimes hard to pinpoint when you are just getting started in writing fiction. Even professionals have a hard time with it sometimes. Let’s first define what type of story you are writing.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU PLAN TO WRITE IN?
There are two kinds of genres that are used in the classification and publication of a work of fiction. The first is called a commercial genre. The commercial genre is what is commonly known as the “sales category”. This genre style is what tells publishers and books stockers what kind of fiction work you are writing. This is typically the global genre that is understood by the reader when they go looking for a new book. Genre examples include Young Adult (Aka YA), Adult, New Adult, Romance, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy.
The second genre is known as content genre. This genre applies to type of story and content that you write. This the genre classified for and by writers about their work. These genres have a niched perspective and maintain similar conventions, scenes, and rules when writing.
Keep in mind, most stories will have both genres. To figure out you theme, first identify what genre(s) you would like to work with.
WHAT ARE THE THEMES OF SOME SIMILAR COMP TITLES?
Sometimes we can model formats and plots based off pervious work in order to gain a sense of the techniques and conventions used in that genre. What are some titles of movies, books, or tv shows that have similar themes to what you want to write? Is it an action, love story, mystery? The action genre is about survival, life and death, good v. evil, and courage. The love genre is about friendship, romance, human connection, and intimacy. The mystery genre is about justice, injustice, safety, and good v. evil. The horror genre is about survival, fear, safety, life and death, and good v. evil. The morality genre is about altruism, selfishness, and right v. wrong. The performance genre is about respect, esteem, and shame. The society genre is about power, revolution, equality, and corruption. The status genre is about success, failure, admiration, and pity. The thriller genre is about survival, life and death, and good v. evil. The world view/coming of age is about wisdom, meaning, and maturity. The western genre is about freedom, right v. wrong, survival, good v. evil, and courage. And finally, the war genre is about honor, safety, courage, and survival.
Note the following: a theme is not concrete. Your theme(s) can change as you write and flesh out your story concept, but you just need to start with one. Write it out in one sentence. You will be surprised how evident the theme can occur to you.
[Exp: How something happens to the character and why does it happen?]
So, what theme do you plan on writing about?
Written by Baleigh Shortreed.
“Patience is the key to growth; growth is the key to change.”