Thursday, November 09, 2006


Theme is like the floors and structural supports in a fine old mansion, indispensable but not, as a general rule, what takes the reader’s breath away. More often than not, theme, or meaning, is the statement the architecture and décor make about the inhabitants.

John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist, p. 41

Tricia’s Thoughts

My novels are unique, as they have their theme posted on the front cover. “From Dust and Ashes: A Story of Liberation” or “Night Song: A Story of Sacrifice.” While these are hints of the content to follow, there is no preaching in these stories. There are no places where the story ends and the lessons of liberation or sacrifice begin. Instead, like Gardner said, they are the floors and structural support. Readers are so concerned with my inhabitants, they don’t even realize the structure is there.
When I receive letters, readers write about the inhabitants—my characters who have become as real to them as they are to me. One woman was determined that the characters in From Dust and Ashes were related to me. I had a hard time convincing her otherwise. It’s then I knew my story worked . . . and so did the unseen structure, experience by not recognized.


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

How far is world view removed from theme? Every Christian's work, whether he's laying words, or bricks, one on top of another, declares his life's theme: God is, and He is the justifier of those who believe.

8:13 PM  

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