Topics Are Not Themes: Part II
Here's a link in case you missed Part I.
Many writers start with nothing but a topic, and the theme emerges as they write – birthed from the story. Never start writing without a topic. Otherwise, there’s little chance of finding commonality between your scenes, characters, world design and everything else in the story.
Other writers will start with a clichéd theme. No judgment; not all stories need an elegantly worded theme. For example, a silly comedy doesn’t need to make a profound statement. Just look back after your first draft. If you’ve drawn the story from a topic or clichéd theme, you might just find a real pearl in there.
The following are examples of topics and potential themes.
Good and Evil
Good and evil are the opposite sides of the same coin.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Love is blind.
Treat others as you want to be treated.
Love will set you free.
Love is too precious to be ashamed of.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Everyone’s blood is red.
It’s not what you get, but who you become.
If you want success, start failing.
The ambition and focus that propel you to success can also be your downfall.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
Courage is not the absence of fear.
Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be.
Happiness is not having what you want. It’s wanting what you have.
Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a way of getting there.
Happiness is fleeting.
Play the part and you will become it.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
Believe in yourself.
As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.
Moral skepticism leads to cruelty.
Things aren’t as bad as you think. Sometimes they’re worse.
The future is not written.
Things do not change. We do.