Is it too early to think about theme?

Clocked over 6,000 words today. Feeling pretty good about that, despite the fact that it feels like the story has barely moved from the prelude. I wonder sometimes if I’m writing too much boring detail.

Of course, other times I wonder how I will fill up the rest of the damn story – if I get rid of the extraneous stuff what the hell will I have left?

Anyway, today’s blog theme is…theme. Is it too early to think about theme?

By theme, I mean the underlying truth, the moral, the message, the fucking point of the story. Good triumphs over Bad. What goes around comes around. Never eat cheese immediately before bedtime. That sort of thing. Do I need to have a rock solid idea at this stage, or is it enough to have the merest suggestion of a thought?

At this stage I think I have an idea. Or at least a concept of the theme I want to express through the story, and looking at what I’ve written, so far it is completely absent. Is this a problem?

Or would it be a problem if it were present? If it’s too obvious, then a reader can feel they are getting beaten around the head with it (i.e. Dune, any of the books by comedian Ben Elton, etc).

I figure it is too early to worry, but at what stage do I need to start adding it?

And then the bigger question – how?

Sigh. writing is hard.

Daily word count: 368

Total word count:6,084

Today’s soundtrack:



4 thoughts on “Is it too early to think about theme?

  1. Yeah, 6K!
    I hear a lot of writers (not first timers though) say that they first just write the braindump draft, and then see what their book is about before editing – that you basically can’t know till 4/5th of the book unless you outline ahead of time.
    So maybe… revisit theme at 50-60K?

    I also want to know how one puts the thing you want to say into the text without beating the reader over the head with it! Sounds like a significant skill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *6k celebratory high-fives*

      That’s what I’m hoping- this draft will reveal what actually needs to be done so I figure out what I’m trying to say!

      If I figure out how to do subtext I’ll let you know!


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