Patterns: Are you writing the same theme or concept again and again?

I recently read through the first full draft of my current WIP and found something that really surprised me. Aspects of the theme and concept mirrored my book Phantom Harvest. Both main characters from the WIP and PH had parents who either abandoned them or were a total nightmare. Both characters were fostered by a strong male who took up the role of parent to the character. This wasn’t intentional. When I write a novel, no amount of plotting and outlining will pre-determine the Theme for me. It’s not until I do that first read through of the finished draft that I “get” the theme of the book.

Leaning back and scratching my head, I thought about the epic dark fantasy I’m writing as well. Same thing. Hmm. I’m not a father. I’m not a son. I wasn’t raised by rabid wolves on the Western Slope. My childhood was actually pretty normal, so why do I keep writing about that Father/ Mentor/ Son relationship? Simple. I enjoy exploring the motives and nuances behind these relationships.

Is writing in patterns a bad thing? I don’t think so. One of my favorite authors writes a successful Urban Fantasy series about two brothers who are absolutely loyal to each other. She wrote a second series of books with a similar theme. I loved them both and bawl like a blubbering baby every time I read them. Her passion for the theme and the characters keeps drawing me back.

Final Thought: Write the themes you feel passionate about and write them well.


2 thoughts on “Patterns: Are you writing the same theme or concept again and again?

  1. I thought about this and I have mixed feelings.

    On the one hand, I love Kurt Vonnegut. He pretty much writes the same book with different characters and different plots, but you can spot a Vonnegut novel from a mile away. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Once I read Sirens of Titan I discovered that I’d pretty much like whatever he wrote.

    But I try not to have the same thing over and over. I’m scrapping the first go at a second novel because it feels like a rehashing of the first (character wise). So I guess I come at it from a Comac McCarthy/Pynchon perspective. It’s hard to tell that The Road and Blood Meridian are the same author.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.