Theme is the message or messages your story is trying to portray. It is the main reason you write your story in the first place. Many great stories had been hinged on themes that still ring a bell in our minds today.
Looking at the books from two great Authors- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- we can see that the themes of their stories were embedded in the stories. While they spread the theme among different facets of their stories, they still had a way of presenting beautifully written plots to us, the readers. J.K Rowling wrote seven books about Harry Potter to show how people try to escape death. Chimamanda’s story was aimed at showing how some Nigerian Fathers treat their children.
Despite the fact the theme is not that a bogus one, they wrote beautiful plots from these themes. The mysteries we are discussing are simply to show us how their theme worked in their stories. Many books had been considered thematically shallow for many reasons, but the major ones are always A Bad Plot with A Good Theme, Bad characterization and bad theme explanation. They are the missing elements and should be avoided at all cost.
In this post, Writertain is aimed at making you have a brief understanding of these three major elements, and hope you garner enough to help your writing henceforth.
A Bad Plot with A good theme: most times, some writers forget that the aim of a story is not to just teach, but to be entertained. Then, while the entertainment is going on, people begin to get little messages from different parts of the story. The best part of many books is the story being told. When many people miss this essential part (the plot), they would never think about the story, no matter if your theme is about how women are being killed by men regularly. Even if they do, they would remember it for the whack plot.
Bad Characterization: Mary sues, evil queens, the nerds, the jerks, the crazy clowns, the never happy man, the miser, and a load of other characters are some of the main ways of expanding the theme of your story. Many people don’t do this. For a real theme to be fully examined, they have to be explored by your characters’ behavior. You don’t have to ram it down the readers’ throat before they know it. The theme is always discovered by readers but portrayed by the characters. They have to make people notice it.
Bad Theme Expansion: many times, many writers don’t always fully explore the consequences of their theme. Themes are made of up of so many questions that preferably would make your story bloom. But many writers just touch it briefly. Although there are a lot of themes in any story, you must make sure the major ones are fully explored.