A Midsummer Night's Theme

No Suns Blind Me

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I've been doing a lot of editing lately, trawling through old stories I've written and attempting to salvage the ones I'd previously shoved to the bottom of The Pile (every writer, I think, has a heap called The Pile – be it on the desk or in a drawer or on a hard drive - where forsaken fiction slumbers, awaiting the day when it will be showered with the attention it deserves).

Burying myself once more in tales I'd forgotten, I realised quite quickly that one theme in particular seems to pop up with alarming regularity. Sometimes it's the rock on which the whole edifice has been constructed, other times it's more elusive, buried so deep in the text that I think I'm probably the only person who knows it's there:

Loss, and the psychological consequences of such, tends to dominate: most of my protagonists have been scarred by the removal of someone close, provoking an inner turmoil which tends to lead to even more privation or utter self-destruction. Happy endings, I've noticed, occur very rarely. On a world-building scale, impermanence conquers all, be it a galactic empire or a backwoods kingdom: decay constantly encroaches, much as it does in real life, and the implication is always that, no matter what the heroes achieve, all will be reduced to dust and forgotten.

Life experience has obviously made some kind of imprint on my psyche, as none of this was the product of conscious decision-making, so the question is: 'what informs your fiction?'

Do you have one particular theme you return to, using it to underpin your fiction, or am I just stuck in a psychic rut? Do tell.:)
 
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Midnattblod

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not certain if I do yet, since most of what I've written is the lore for my world, but that is kinda interesting and I'm curious if others experience the same thing.
 
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No Suns Blind Me

No Suns Blind Me

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not certain if I do yet, since most of what I've written is the lore for my world, but that is kinda interesting and I'm curious if others experience the same thing.
I'm (un)lucky in that I've got years and years of stories to look back on.:eek:
 

CheshireGrin

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Life experience has obviously made some kind of imprint on my psyche, as none of this was the product of conscious decision-making, so the question is: 'what informs your fiction?'
Do you have one particular theme you return to, using it to underpin your fiction, or am I just stuck in a psychic rut? Do tell.:)

From what you've described, your writing sounds like the exact sort of thing I enjoy reading. :) I love reading something where you can sense that the author's own personal experiences have influenced the characters and overall mood of the story. That's one reason I don't think stories always need a happy ending, because life isn't always happy.

And to answer your question, usually in my own writing there will be some sort of underlying theme about something painful or traumatic that faintly echoes things I've seen or been through as well in my own life. My main project I'm working on the final draft for has a major theme of life and death and loss, and it's a project that has felt very personal to me since day one. I've worked on other projects (also fantasy and horror) that have similar underlying feelings in the sense that they tend to reflect something damaging that has happened in my life.

Interesting idea for a thread. I look forward to seeing what others have to say on the subject about their own writing. It's always neat learning what makes people write the things they write.
 
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No Suns Blind Me

No Suns Blind Me

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From what you've described, your writing sounds like the exact sort of thing I enjoy reading.:) I love reading something where you can sense that the author's own personal experiences have influenced the characters and overall mood of the story. That's one reason I don't think stories always need a happy ending, because life isn't always happy.
As you say, the most satisfying fiction tends to be that which contains some shards of the author's soul. Anybody can write fiction, but if there's nothing of the author's spirit, politics, beliefs, outlook in the text then it's really just a collection of words. I don't always agree with the views expressed in my favourite books, but I appreciate they're part of what makes those books so memorable to me; dry, impersonal tracts tend to be too one-dimensional to be remembered.

And to answer your question, usually in my own writing there will be some sort of underlying theme about something painful or traumatic that faintly echoes things I've seen or been through as well in my own life. My main project I'm working on the final draft for has a major theme of life and death and loss, and it's a project that has felt very personal to me since day one. I've worked on other projects (also fantasy and horror) that have similar underlying feelings in the sense that they tend to reflect something damaging that has happened in my life.
Your 'main project' sounds exactly like the kind of thing I'm into, a piece of work you've imbued with something personal and important to you. What makes a book special is what makes us all special - our personality.
 
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grumpycroc

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There are so many aspects of my life that filter into writing that I can't list them all here. Everything from politics, to what happened at work, but one theme in particular is worth mentioning. Unity.

Often my characters start out not knowing each other's language, or have some similar gulf between them they must overcome. After much trial and tribulation my characters come together, or at least some of them do. I suspect this is because most of my life I had great difficulty communicating with people. Still do.

There is one more theme that has been running through my work since I began my novel. Savagery. My short stories have been having a tribal feel to them, my novel takes place in a future where technology has goon backwards and reptiles rule once again. There is just a constant depiction of humanity degenerating into intelligent beat, forsaking wisdom, forgetting civilization, knowing only survival. I don't know what it means.
 
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No Suns Blind Me

No Suns Blind Me

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There is one more theme that has been running through my work since I began my novel. Savagery. My short stories have been having a tribal feel to them, my novel takes place in a future where technology has goon backwards and reptiles rule once again. There is just a constant depiction of humanity degenerating into intelligent beat, forsaking wisdom, forgetting civilization, knowing only survival. I don't know what it means.
And how far have humans reverted? Are the reptiles significantly more advanced or is it a level playing field between the species?
 

grumpycroc

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And how far have humans reverted? Are the reptiles significantly more advanced or is it a level playing field between the species?

Humans have gone back to being Neolithic style "cavemen" relying on stone tools, and a hunter/gather lifestyle. It's not that humans have become dumber, or more evil. They've simply become wilder. The various reptile civilizations have developed agriculture, roads, iron working, writing, and several other hallmarks of civilization. Only humans enslaved by the reptiles show some signs of being civil, and even that doesn't always work out. The crocodile king Sundatta had many human children captured, and adopted in a genuine attempt to civilized them, but they just ended up growing up to be beggars and thieves. Some of them even founded their own tribe of bandits.
 

A Ghost With Toast

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I don't write too many short stories as they tend to distract me from not writing my novel, but those I have penned usually focus on Man's reliance on technology and what happens when the machine stops. I suppose the underlying theme is of alienation, how a lot of participants in modern society relate better to each other in a virtual world rather than in reality, and the consequences thereof.
 
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