Appearance vs reality

by Jim Utley
(Braintree Ma)

Question: ...Also my novel has begun to shape up with some heavy appearance vs reality themes where I thought it was going down the loss, redemption and hope road. Can the two themes exist together? What are some sub themes from appearance vs reality?


This is why some writers ignore theme altogether, preferring to let the thematic argument take care of itself. Themes will assert themselves, emerging from the same part of your subconscious as other narrative elements. Sometimes, you may find you don't really know what a story is about until after you have written it.

Fortunately, novels seldom have only one theme. Usually they have a number of themes layered in. Individual plot, relationship, and character arcs can have their own themes as well.

If your original intended themes still resonate with you, you may still consciously weave those into the story. But don't be too worried about other themes that emerge. Once you finish a draft, you will be able to go back and ask yourself what elements truly fit the story, and what may be better left out of the second draft.

Best of luck.

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