Who doesn’t love a good book series? If the first installment draws me in, I can’t help but continue on with the next book, and the next, revisiting characters that have become old friends, getting lost in their world and predicaments, and (in some cases) connecting with their themes. Which got me thinking: How do literary themes present themselves in a series? You can find the answers to that question, as well as what writers should consider when it comes to “serial themes,” at my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul article at DIY MFA.
(Look for this week’s #WeeklyWriterWisdom questions after the jump.)
For the past few Developing Themes In Your Stories posts at my DIY MFA column Theme: A Story’s Soul, we’ve explored how to nurture themes during a story’s major plot points. Today’s article brings us to the most important scene of all: the climax! So how can this crucial end to the story’s main conflict reflect a story’s themes? And, how does the protagonist’s success or failure at achieving his goal influence the angle that your story takes on those concepts?
So far in the Developing Themes In Your Stories series at my DIY MFA column Theme: A Story’s Soul, we’ve covered three major plot points: the inciting incident, the Act I choice, and the midpoint. Today it’s time for the scene best known as the “dark night of the soul,” the moment when the protagonist experiences her worst crisis in the story and believes (mistakenly) that her story goal is out of reach. It’s also the scene that, when carefully examined, emphasizes the “why” behind the protagonist’s motivations and pulses with the story’s themes stronger than in any previous plot point.
We’re back to our exploration of plot points and literary themes for this week’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post at DIY MFA. This time, we’re looking at the midpoint, when the protagonist is in the middle of his story-goal pursuit – but not everything has gone the way he’d hoped or planned. Thus, the midpoint represents the character’s “mirror moment,” a shift in thought or momentum that helps the protagonist get back on track. And if you look closely, you’ll find that this scene often teems with literary themes.