Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Re: Road Trip Wednesday #95: Deja Vu All Over Again

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic:

What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?

Redemption and Transformation:

I think if I needed to pick the biggest theme or issue that tends to crop up in my work, it would be redemption, followed by transformation. Doesn't matter whether we are talking the big, cosmic, soul changing acceptance of divinity level stuff, or whether we are just talking about a character who has been a complete pain in the ass getting hit in the head with the error of their ways... It's something that is extremely important to me and that I tend to explore in my work whether I mean to or not.

In Moon Dance Sarena does not want to take her place as Kesyl's Guardian. Because she denied her powers her brother, Jayden, took the position and eventually that is going to have massive consequences. As she becomes more familiar with Kess, the Kindred as a whole and her role within their society the mistakes that she made threaten to take the good parts of her new life from her. It is her gradual willingness to go through the fire (metaphorically speaking -- although it is a fire that landed her with the job) that will eventually set things right.

In Untouchable Cassie goes through a huge set of changes after the car accident where she is injured. As we watch Jenna's desire to have more freedom and control of her own life, Cassie actually witnesses, in essence, who she was. As she is pulled into a way of life that she left behind, she must resist succumbing to it again as she struggles to show Jenna that there are other ways to get what she wants. Cassie's art is a symbol of her journey away from destructiveness and toward creativity; it is also how she connects with Alan. Jenna thinks that by getting wrapped up in Cassie's old life -- using her makeup and clothes from before the accident and looking more "cool" that she, too, can reinvent herself.

Repeated Things That Drive Me Crazy

When I write about this I know I'm in trouble. ;)

I can't believe how many times I describe people having food in Moon Dance. Some of it is great and I will keep it. Some of it, though, is probably lazy "business" and has scenes that likely need a different setting. I love food. I'm good at describing food. But no one wants 300 pages of people eating. Yes, there is a lot more to my book then that. But it's something that I need to keep an eye on.


My characters spend way too much time here. I mean, seriously. They often aren't even doing anything else -- just lying together and cuddling. Cute? Maybe. Plot driving? There is probably somewhere else that the scene can happen. Or at least, that should be a consideration. 

* + * + * +*

See, the problem isn't food or beds themselves. Its that they don't necessarily get used right in the story. Food can be very powerful. Or it can be a diversion. Both of these are fine, but I need to stay focused on what I want it to do.

Same with beds. There is nothing wrong with them. In fact, a scene I really like in Moon Dance, where Kesyl makes Sarena breakfast, happens in one and it's far from being the wrong location or not having plot. ;) But yet again... You need to use them when they are best used.

* + * + * + *

Anyway, thanks for dropping by and listening to me talk about themes in my writing. What do you find cropping up over and over in your work? Do you like it or does it drive you crazy? 


  1. I find that forgiveness and redemption crop up in my books a lot, too. And redemption and transformation are essential elements of the hero's journey--it would be really hard to write a compelling story without them.

  2. I talk a lot about food too-- actually, I don't even talk about the food, it's just that my characters are always talking over a meal. I made a list the other day of every other place they could possibly be talking. LOL


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