In August of 2017, at the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference, I chose a panel discussion, out of dozens in the cart for that day, titled Why Write? Themes That Transcend the Plot. I believe all writers of fiction and nonfiction touch on themes of social and moral significance. Those who don’t consciously realize it miss the opportunity to deepen the beauty and meaning of their stories.
All writers write for one market, the market, humankind. All readers, from the little boy holding a graphic novel to the college psychology professor researching the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath, all readers are inviting into their individual lives knowledge, entertainment, and understanding of themselves and the world around them.
My own mystery/thriller novels hold elements, torn pages, in effect, from the newspaper, from the Bible, from every children’s book, Shakespearian play or classic novel I’ve ever read. Writers draw from their experience to put words on a page. They can also acquire self-knowledge from what that experience translates to on the page.
There is a saying that you are what you eat. I’d like to borrow that slogan to propose another truth: the writer is what the writer writes. What is the hidden theme in your story? What is the hidden theme in your life? If someone wrote your life story, what would the title be?