What do you think ofÂ themes and tropes? As someone who spent the better part of her childhoodÂ distancing herself from assumptions and judgments, to me they smacked of prejudice. In college,Â I successfully ignored them; meanings and implications arose in my prof’s head, elevatingÂ my third-rate term paper to an AÂ on theÂ unlikely merit of too few words.
Now that I’m trying, my writing has suffered. Clumsy, thumb-fingered attempts to injectÂ good trumps evilÂ and smart uncles keep a close eye on naÃ¯ve nieces wink back from the page at me in tacky neon; forcing meaning into my story has killed the leavening, reducing 3-D adventures into a cautionary fable told by a well-meaning Aunt.
So I’ve rifled through my manuscript snagging pithy comments and hard-won paragraphs and shooting the delete key, clearing implications andÂ leaving the readers toÂ infer meaning for themselves.
Until today. I’ve been struggling (as with an 840lb bear, not a jar of pickles). My story is stalled and all I get when I pump the gas is an ominous series of clicks. But this morning dawned to reveal a trope that applied to my main character as well as the first guy you see in the story, whom I only created for colorful background.
They’re both the struggling kids of outrageously successful, notorious parents. Subtle tweaking will revealÂ parallels. I can’t wait toÂ tackle the story again -Â let’s see if it works!
MaybeÂ I need toÂ draw and integrate characters into the story before IÂ look for patterns. Is seek and destroy a legitimate way (for a newbie) to write?