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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 8 Theme

8 August 2013, Writing Ideas - Writing Science Fiction, part 8 Theme

Announcement: My novels Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness are about to be published. I write this blog about 2 months prior to its publication. I just heard that the proofs will be here soon--likely before the end of the week. My publisher also wants to put the entire set of novels based on Aegypt on contract--that's 5 more novels for 8 total. They also want to put my other novels on contract. The release schedule should be one novel every 2 months. I'll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

1. Don't confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

Some writers and scholars suggest that a theme is a single word concept, for example, death, life, redemption, goodness, etc.  I think this is silly.  Most writers and scholars consider a theme to be encapsulated in a single sentence--I'll go for that.  If this is true, then there can be at least close to infinity themes.  Here's one definition I gave you yesterday:

theme (theem): a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. A theme is a thought or idea the author presents to the reader that may be deep, difficult to understand, or even moralistic. Generally, a theme has to be extracted as the reader explores the passages of a work. The author utilizes the characters, plot, and other literary devices to assist the reader in this endeavor. One theme that may be extracted by the reader of Mark Musa’s interpretation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy Volume I: Inferno is the need to take account of one’s own behavior now, for it affects one's condition in the afterlife. One example of this theme can be found in Canto V - “...when the evil soul appears before him, it confesses all, and he [Minos], who is the expert judge of sins, knows to what place in Hell the soul belongs: the times he wraps his tail around himself tells just how far the sinner must go down” (7-12). In addition, Dante’s use of literary techniques, such as imagery, further accentuates the theme for the consequences of not living right, for he describes “the cries and shrieks of lamentation” (III:22), “…the banks were coated with a slimy mold that stuck to them like glue, disgusting to behold and worse to smell” (XVIII:106-108) and many other terrifying examples of Hell. In truly great works of literature, the author intertwines the theme throughout the work and the full impact is slowly realized as the reader processes the text. The ability to recognize a theme is important because it allows the reader to understand part of the author’s purpose in writing the book. See Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama, NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms, and Literary Terms: A Dictionary. Susan Severson, Student, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Using this definition of a theme, I defined the theme in Dana-ana as "The redemption of an Anglo Saxon maiden caught in the twenty-first century."  From such a simple sentence, I developed an entire novel.  For Aksinya, the theme was something like this: "a girl who calls a demon to protect her family finds redemption."  These are very simple examples, but I think you get the idea.  You can produce very unique themes based on a theme statement.

The point is to have unique themes.  In the modern world, you will not sell a book to a publisher unless it is new, refreshing, and unique.  Like I wrote before, we don't need any more Star Trek or Star Wars knock offs.

For more information, you can visit my author site, and my individual novel websites:,,,, thefoxshonor, aseasonofhonor.

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