I've been thinking about themes a lot. The are everywhere and certainly in every book that we read, but somehow, sometimes, authors miss that this is an integral part of their books. First, let me explain what I mean when I say universal themes. These are the words to identify what are the natural progression of a character throughout the story. These are the lessons learned, either during the pages or the influences that create the character we are introduced to on page one. I think that there is a misconception between the idea of theme and form. There are those that criticize romance stating that the writing is formulaic. They believe that all storys follow some unseen guideline leadings us to the exact same spot as everyone else. But theme suggests that while we all hope for the happy ending that perhaps our journeys are what separate us and make us individual.
If you've ever seen a Disney movie then you've seen a universal theme. Cinderella is transformation, beauty and the beast is about judgements based on looks. But there are so many more than I could possibly list here... among them... redemption, beauty, truth, perseverance, loss, rejection, hope... clearly these are the things that we base our own lives upon and so they strike a clear resonance in the hearts of readers when they are put between the pages of our writing. It gives us the background for the characters we write by forming their thoughts, opinions and attitude and it gives us something to strive for... something to look forward to... our happy ending, our redemption, our hope. If we as writers can infuse that kind of theme into our stories then the readers can identify with the characters, laugh, love and hurt with them. And isn't this what we truly want.
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