So far in our recap of the theme of family at DIY MFA, we’ve covered why this theme matters to readers and shared recommendations for books about family. Today, we conclude our recap with a “how-to” post – specifically, how to explore the theme of family in your writing. This post is filled to the brim with writing prompts and brainstorming activities to help you with different angles of approaching this theme, from demonstrating family relationships through dialogue and interaction to using major life events to heighten conflict. So, grab some paper and a pen – or open a new document on your computer – and let’s begin!
Today is the second half of a guest-post swap I’m doing with WriteOnSisters. My article on high fantasy vs epic fantasy is already live at WOS. Now, it’s one of the “Sister’s” turns to post here! Heather Jackson lives in Canada and writes YA novels as well as television and video game screenplays. In fact, she began with screenplays before tackling novel-writing. Here’s what Heather learned during that transition.
I started my writing career as a television screenwriter, but my first love has always been books. So, after screenwriting for what seemed like an eternity to my young self (though I’d only been making a living at it for five years), I decided it was time to write a novel. Being a “seasoned professional,” I estimated I could develop a book idea and write a first draft in one year. After all, I already knew how to craft great stories. Novels simply used more words to tell those stories, right?
Oh, the naiveté of inexperience. I soon learned that more differentiates novels and screenplays than the number of words.
But let’s start with the similarities. I wasn’t totally wrong; many screenwriting skills do transfer to the process of writing novels.
The “Developing Themes in Your Stories” series continues at DIY MFA today! This fourth installment centers on dialogue, one of my favorite aspects of novel-writing. It’s also one of the most common storytelling elements to showcase theme. Using examples and writing exercises, we’ll learn how to explore theme via dialogue through the basic “nuts and bolts” of a conversation, emotional subtext, and repetition.
Click here to read “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part Four – Dialogue.” Continue reading