Tag Archives: writing advice

A Zoom Writing Retreat — Sally Jenkins

Although lockdown is gradually easing, there are still lots of things we can’t do. Groups meeting together indoors is one of them. This has led to the rise and rise of Zoom, video conferencing software that most of us had never heard of at the beginning of March but now use regularly. I take part […]

via A Zoom Writing Retreat — Sally Jenkins

Thanks so much for sharing this Sally. It sounds a way to get disciplined writing habits too!

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July 14, 2020 · 6:28 am

Themes in novel writing

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Genre

Writing under a particular genre ~ romance, crime, mystery, fantasy or historical fiction, for example, is one way of classifying a novel, but what about the underlying themes.

Themes

Common themes are love, death, evil, survival, war, peace, tragedy.

Writersedit.com lists and describes 10 popular themes:

love, death, coming of age, good v evil, courage and heroism, survival, power and corruption, prejudice, individual v society, war

It is an interesting blog because it describes novels within each theme, great when beginning to plan a novel or even to advertise your novel alongside similar themes.

Why is knowing the theme important?

  • When writing the blurb it is useful to incorporate the themes
  • They are key search words for visibility on the internet (Amazon especially)
  • Themes are succinct words for any marketing materials when describing your book
  • They are great to have ready when giving a succinct verbal description if asked, ‘What’s your book about then?’ ~ difficult if you are not prepared and you don’t want to waffle on.

What themes did I chose?

When planning my recent novel, MISSING Past and Present I slipped into these major themes:

  1. Poverty and homelessness
  2. Mixed relationships and multi faith marriage
  3. Prejudice
  4. Gender inequality
  5. Resilience and fortitude

In my last few blog posts I have addressed the first theme, Poverty and Homelessness, describing how working in a soup kitchen ‘cum’ network of support for homeless people inspired my novel in the first place, and so in the next few blog posts I will turn to the second and third themes, which I feel go hand in hand.

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Filed under MISSING Past and Present, Writing, Writing a novel

Writing effective blog posts ~ I suggest you ‘Do as I say and not as I do’

As I was trying to be organised and think through a plan for blog posts for the next month I realised how haphazard I’d been of late, for various reasons and have vowed to try to do better. I’m sure if I were more disciplined I would follow the following:

  1. Write regularly so that your readers get to know you and look forward to your posts. Personally I admit that I’ve been distracted from writing my blogs, from Twitter and from Facebook in the past couple of years. Firstly real life got in the way as we settled into our move to Fife. Then I was spooked by talk of problems of security with Social Media. (could do better)
  2. Be consistent ~ if your readers want to read about the background to writing, or wish to follow a travel journal, browse comments about health or even the best wines, then they search for it.  A blogger needs to find what interests them and share it in the best possible way ~ prose, poetry, photos, diagrams, lists …. (I’m afraid I’ve failed on this one too. My posts are, at present, spasmodic to say the least and flit from subject to subject as the mood takes me.)
  3. Make your themes within your topic clear ~ Using tabs carefully, which helps you to be found on a search engine too incidentally, you can cover a few themes -categories – within your umbrella topic, but your readers should be able to find them easily. (Oh dear ~ I rather like my cloud of many themes to the right hand side of the screen, but with hindsight it would have been best to plan my posts better and restrict the number of categories.)
  4. Use Tabs and Categories ~ always remember to set up these pesky little details. They appear at the bottom of your post and help the reader to find your posts when searching within WordPress but also on Google. (Hooray ~ Yes, I nearly always remember to do this now.)
  5. Always proof read carefully before clicking the final ‘publish’ button. (I hold my hand up here as I sometimes look back on posts and, though I’ve read it through a couple of times, pesky errors have crept in unbidden.) It also helps to schedule the post in a couple of days in advance, giving you time to revisit meanwhile and scrutinise it with fresh eyes.
  6. Not too long ~( I think I’m OK with this one.)
  7. Do your research carefully ~ (yes I’m fairly good at that too)

I’m sure there are many more, but now I’ve remembered that planning and being organised is the key I will attempt to get back on track.

My next post will be to complete a=the long awaited end to a series I began a few months ago ~ A Virtual Walk Along the Fife Coastal Path ~ I will finally write about the last walk (for me) to St Andrews. After that I’ll let you know.

Happy blogging!

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