As I read through On Writing by Stephen King I have learned a number of lessons about style, planning (or lack thereof) and the background of a master wordsmith I genuinely admire. One of the things I struggle with most is grammar. I always have. It was the reason why, even though I love to read and write, I always hated English classes in school. He talks a lot about the importance and inclusion of grammar lessons for all writers. While I agree, it is by far the most difficult part of the writing process for me.
The section I just finished was about theme. I had always believed it was important to use theme and any symbolism you wanted in the story from the very beginning. As I read on though I found his insight fascinating. He writes about completing the first draft then looking back through it to see if there is a theme or any symbolism that jumps out at you. That is the system that works for him and while I have modified that slightly for myself I think it is a good idea to not become too obsessed with the idea of theme until you see what naturally appears.
With the election for president happening here yesterday I found myself coming back to the idea of theme. I have removed myself in many ways from social media. I made a public announcement that I would not tolerate hatred or attacks of any kind and have followed that up with blocking people I see engaging in such taunts. I understand the world, and America specifically, is in turmoil right now but that is no reason or excuse to continue to fight one another. It has been terrifying to see people lash out against others that claimed to be friends or family. Fiction is far less horrifying than reality sometimes.
Even the master himself has stepped away from social media until the storm dies down. Personally I understand. We as writers do not simply choose themes for our characters and our books but also in our day to day lives. I began branching out in my genres a few years ago and one of the reasons is that my beta reads mentioned my distinct consistency for writing stories with happy endings. However I think back over my life and that has been something I have strived for, happy results.
I am now focusing on the theme of voting in my personal life. I am choosing positivity even if not always in my books. My fictional worlds will shift with my inspiration but I am making the choice to always vote for positivity in my reality.