Sunday, January 10, 2016

David Farland: My Story Doctor: Story Puzzle - Part 5

Lesson 5 from David Farland's Story Puzzle revolves around theme. This particular post will be quite brief, as theme is a part of the storytelling process I don't like to force.

For this lesson, Dave asks we analyze the conflicts and plots within we've created thus far and discover whether or not a noticeable theme jumps out. From that theme, we are then asked to analyze how each of the major characters views this theme (with the hope that each character will be able to present a different argument on said theme). Finally, we were to list a series of scenes for each of these characters which illustrated their views on said theme.

So ... I completed the assignment, and I can see how it can be helpful, specifically to keep the story maintained within a particular paradigm. Focusing on a theme could help ensure a writer doesn't specifically wander too far away from said theme, which can help the writer keep the entire story focused.

That being said ... I don't particularly agree with focusing on a particular theme. I find doing so seems to create a heavy-handed narrative focusing too much on points of the theme instead of telling a good story. Instead, I like to think the reader will decide upon a theme himself, which makes the reading experience that much greater.

Perhaps it's just a matter of my own ineptitude as a storyteller, and my inability to bury a theme within the narrative.

Anyway ... the assignment was quite simple, and probably one of the easiest of the workshop thus far. One more assignment left. I still think this has been a great workshop. You can sign up for it here.