Thursday, July 8, 2010

Premise, Theme and Moral

I bought a new book on writing mainly for the chapter on how to tell the difference between  premise, theme and moral. The book is The Art and Craft of Storytelling: A Comprhensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques by Nancy Lamb (Writer's Digest Books).

I know, I don't need to read another book on how to write. I need to write!

But . . .

I've always had trouble coming up with a theme or premise for my stories. Truthfully, I don't even know the difference between the two. And Ms. Lamb states:
"Ideally, you should establish the premise of your story before you even begin writing. If you can do this, you will save yourself untold creative angst."
Less angst is good, right?

Find the premise and then write the story around it. That's her advice and it sounds good to me. Maybe my inability to finish a story stems from not having a solid premise, or any premise at all. I have a plot, but it seems hollow.

So, in one sentence, what's the premise of my story?

Uhh . . .

Does a short story really need a premise or theme? I mean, really?

This is harder than writing the actual story. Is it just me or do other writers have this problem? My brain sees plot and action, but shuts down when I try to go beyond that.

Alright. A good premise should involve character, conflict and conclusion.

Here is my attempt:

Premise: When you try to hide what you really are, the real you will eventually burst free.

Themes: There is someone for everyone; love can bring out the best in even the worst person (or dark faerie); you can live in paradise and still be in hell.
Maybe there's something to this. I'm already seeing how this can tie my plot together in several places.

If you can use a good book on writing techniques, check out The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb.

The Art And Craft Of Storytelling: A Comprehensive Guide To Classic Writing Techniques

No comments:

Post a Comment