Writing Process – Defining your theme

In my last post I described my organic process of developing a story, and finding it as you go along. I wanted to elaborate a bit on what I mean by finding your story.

 

My comic is primarily a comedy so bizarre situations and snappy dialogue was my first priority. However after writing my first draft I knew that the simple framework I’d pinned all these comedy antics to had a deeper meaning and the more I thought about it, the more I recognised quite personal thoughts and feelings going into the story. Even though up to this point they had been altogether sub-conscious, or just a channeling of topics and themes I am deeply interested in.

 

So I thought to myself, can I describe this story as a metaphor for something biographical in my life.

 

Substituting things in the story for things in real life I was able to form a pretty simple parallel that at it’s heart, was in fact quite a personal story and had the potential – if I keep this analogy in mind while writing – to bring an extra layer to the storytelling that I might have missed if I hadn’t tried to REALLY find the core of the story.

 

The tone remains ridiculous and comedic, but I can now laser focus on finding humour in that core theme which will be relatable because it’s such a simple human experience. Hopefully that will be both funnier and more thought provoking as a result.
Having said all this – I might fail to hit such grandiose goals but I think it’s an important shift in mindset to how I usually approach fantasy/fiction. Hopefully it’s a sign I’m maturing as a storyteller. Try applying this approach to YOUR stories and let me know if you find it useful!