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November 3, 2012
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So I was discussing with a friend about themes in writing and he told me I couldn't write a story unless I have theme(s). When I first started writing I was too young to realize writing had themes and whatnot, and usually when I come up with a plot and/or story idea themes aren't the first thing I come up with.
What are your opinions? Do you need to think about themes before anything else, or do you think of them after you've come up with a plot and such?
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:iconmr-timeshadow:
Mr-Timeshadow Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
I think it's absolutely mandatory to do whatever the hell works for you. In my case, that would be dreaming up a core idea; a gimmick or hook. Then I craft a story arc for it. Next, I sit down and look for a theme in it, and if it isn't there I start shaping one as a spine for it. Lastly, characters and settings and such. And I bet that would be ruinous for some other Deviants who do it backward or sideways and do it well.
Trust your instincts!
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:iconemilyericson:
emilyericson Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Agreed!
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012   Writer
i never think of theme when i write a story. ever. why? because i don't see a need. be careful of people who speak in absolutes and make generalizations.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
Well, first I would say your friend is wrong and his thinking is probably influenced by the way theme is approached in English/literature classes. Theme is one of those things that's going to arise from the story, whether the writer was consciously starting with one or not. The truth is very few themes can be sufficiently reduced to a single statement, and even looking at literature as only being about that statement is to miss the point.

But my guess is that you, and probably most writers, have some particular issue or set of issues that concern you, and some particular thing you are communicating in your work. Every story does this, whether it is on the high or low end of the spectrum. Even if you're not totally conscious of what that is, it's coming through in the work, and that's what leads to a theme. So honestly, I wouldn't worry to much.

As to whether I personally think about themes, yeah kinda. I don't really start out with a particular theme to be communicated, but as I'm working, certain ideas appear and I run with them. Basically, themes tend to develop as I write, while certain concepts might be there from the beginning.
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You don't need to write with a theme. I don't go around thinking of themes before I write anything. Very little of what I write has an intentional theme to it. Then again, like a lot of things in writing, its concerning the story.

If I want a theme, then I'm writing for a them. If I don't, then I don't even worry about it. I just write.
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:iconpawi666:
pawi666 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
I have a feeling I always have a theme for each of my stories :O
But I don't seriously think about it

actually themes are just something suddenly popped out of my head. I'll base my story on it a little bit, but the thing matters usually is the plot.

tell your friend that writing isn't something you have to be too serious with, i mean, if it's a fiction or a novel. so he doesn't have to convince his friend to write and use his method :3
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:icondamonwakes:
DamonWakes Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012   Writer
I do usually try to have some kind of "theme" in mind, but these tend to develop once I'm already writing. I think it's far more important that your story has some kind of significance, which it will unless you're one of those people who's just writing so they can say that they've written something. It doesn't sound like you are.

When was the last time anybody threw a book down in disgust saying "There are no themes in this!"? A far more common complaint is "This isn't going anywhere."
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:iconfirekat97:
Firekat97 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I don't even think about the word "theme" when I'm writing. It catches me off guard and I lose precious time to write. Don't worry about the theme.
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:iconmornnight:
mornnight Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You really dont need theses do write story. Well yea, but that can be done last. Its not really that important
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you want to know who told me this?
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:iconmornnight:
mornnight Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
it wasn't me was it? Cause if I did that was SOOOOO wrong. but who did?
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Josh XDDDDD
I swear he doesn't know how to write
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:iconmornnight:
mornnight Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
is he even a writer?
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah :P
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:iconel-and-noxi:
El-and-Noxi Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist
Bullshit! I assume your friend doesn't write o_o Everyone has its own style/process of writing so whatever works for you... keep going :D I never think about the theme(s) when writing, maybe I'm just weird that way but I focus more to the plot itself. ;)
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He does write O.o He is a very unusual person.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
What your friend told you is horseshit. Unless you're the silliest, most thoughtless, immature writer humanly possible, themes arise whether you deliberately put them in a story or not. If you have a specific theme you want to communicate then you have to think about it, but otherwise, just write.

It's hard enough to write a good story without misinformed twits throwing more obstacles in your way.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You can have a pretty big clusterfuck of themes if you do nothing to develop them :P
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
And you can also not write at all if you have some fuckwad telling you that you have to set down themes before you even begin.

I think a story that's a product of a well-ordered mind will end up with well-ordered themes as well.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sounds good to me!
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Themes are different to morals; you don't need morals to be a writer.
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:iconhippo-rim-job:
hippo-rim-job Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
A theme or message is what college professors tell you a novel or screenplay requires. Later you will discover that most books and movies don't have them and wonder what the fuck they were talking about.

I personally do not enjoy a story unless there was a point to it. And by a point I mean, something was accomplished, learned or overcome by the main character or characters.
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I understand. I find I like to write stories that do teach something and I'd like to think when I am writing, I should try to convey a lesson, but not like "I'M GOING TO FORCE THIS ON YOU". Like that.
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:iconhippo-rim-job:
hippo-rim-job Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
A good writer can convey a concept without making the reader feel as though they have been manipulated.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012   Digital Artist
Tbh, I don't really think about themes. :hmm:
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's good to hear that. I never think about them that much tbh...
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012   Digital Artist
I'm not even sure I know what themes are exactly. :o I just remember being forced to analyse layers of meaning in books in high school and thinking, screw you, I'm going to write a book that isn't about anything except what it's about. :shakefish:
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha I feel the same way sometimes, like I wish my teacher if I can write my own book instead of reading one. But when we talk about themes I don't even think about them when I'm reading a book >_<
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist
I don't think there are any hard rules about what aspect of a story needs to be established before anything else. Speaking for myself, I typically start with a conversation between characters I think is amusing, interesting, etc - and build a story off of that. Main ideas and plot come afterward. Eventually it is all there.
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's interesting to see how people start off their stories. Everyone has their own theory on writing like "Well you can't write a story before..." yada yada yada.
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist
In most cases I think when people say "you can't write --------" they really mean "I can't write --------"

Of course, there are good and bad practices. In a lot of instances, though, you just have to find what works for you.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012   Writer
wisdom.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I generally do setting/story, then themes, then character. I mean, I'd rather tell a good story than have like eight layers of meaning to it, but a good story does inevitably have some thematic value.
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah. In school my teacher loves to harp particularly on themes and I know stories do have themes, but I think the themes come out through the story, do you know what I mean?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Agreed. And I don't think you can slap them on top unless you're writing morality stories or something.
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:iconanime-dream-girl96:
anime-dream-girl96 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have kinda a random question, but when you write your stories, how do you usually start? Do you come up with characters first, plot, etc?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Plot.
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