When writing a story, I often find that knowing my ending acts as a good guide in navigating what will happen in the middle. I have always written short stories with an ending in mind, which is partly why I’ve found starting my novel without having a vague outline of the ending so arduous. I think this post brings up some excellent points that can be attributed to any story, short or long, especially regarding ‘theme’.
It isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone stress the importance of a theme in a story. In Jennifer Fallon‘s MasterClass Series, she pointed out the importance of, and how to identify, your theme:
Think about the dreaded question “So… what’s your story about?”
Do you start by saying “Well… it’s set on this world where…”
If you say that, then your world building is taking over the story.
If you start by saying “It’s about a boy (girl, dragon, sentient flu virus, etc) who…”, then your characters are probably driving your story.
Ask me what the Seconds Sons Trilogy is about, and I won’t tell you it’s about a world with two suns, or a boy who sets out to destroy a religion, I will tell you it’s about deciding if the end justifies the means.
That, you see, is my theme.
The theme is what carries the story along and steers characters to their destiny. Whether it be grief, good vs evil, journeys, betrayal, peace and war, coming of age, heroism, or love, a theme is what leaves you at the end of a great story reflecting what you have learnt and thinking about how all the pieces came together to make a point about something.
Check out the full ‘Ending Short Stories’ post below:
via foetal positions