Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Themes in Vessel ~ Where ideas come from

The more I read and write, the more I find myself fascinated with themes. Not the “moral of the story”, but what exactly is it I’m trying to say about the world through my medium – the story. Exploring powerful themes like love, war, slavery, kindness, religion – themes we all have some connection to in our own lives – have brought me all my best stories.

In Vessel, my newest dystopian/scifi novel, many themes surface throughout the pages. I never plan it consciously, but I find that the things on my mind while I’m writing influence my story a lot.

One of the themes that first emerged while writing Vessel was slavery. The main character, Alana, begins the story as a slave. Her belief that no one values her is analogous to how many of us are mentally shackled by our own negative self-image. Through the events of the story, Alana learns to break free of that image, mentally and physically. Beauty is also a prominent theme in Vessel – what it is and what it isn’t. True beauty is inside us, not on our face, as Alana learns.

Vessel also explores the themes of power and control, like any good dystopian novel. When politics and armed conflicts are on the news every night, it’s hard to get away from. Even the news outlets these days make one wonder about the nature of knowledge, who has it and who doesn’t. Who uses fear to control people? What is really the truth?

Probably my favorite theme in Vessel is kindness. Alana’s kindness to Recks, even though he’s a prisoner and a thief, is the action that sets the story events into motion. Their kindness to each other is the shining beacon that lights their way through the dark times and holds them together.
While Vessel is science fiction, many of the themes are perfectly relevant to today. My goal in writing with themes is not to lecture readers on what they should believe. My goal is to make my story relevant to everyday life, even if the story itself is perfectly fantastical, and to make readers think. For readers, seeing ourselves inside a story, feeling what the character feels, that’s what’s important. As a writer, that’s the best way to entertain, which is always my ultimate goal. I hope you enjoy my new dystopian novel, Vessel, now available in print and e-book on Amazon.

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