One of many

Endings that is. I met my deadline of finishing the first draft of my novel on Dec 18th. My plan is not to touch it until the kids go back to school on Jan 7, giving myself 2-3 weeks away from it. It has been over a year since I began so much of it will be completely foreign to me – in a good way. I will not be to close to the words.  At that point I hope to re-read the entire ms before making any changes to see where the major plot and character gaps are. I am certain the inconsistencies will stick out, as the characters have developed so much since their beginnings. After that the true rewriting/editing begins.

I have been thinking about the two novels that I wrote, trying to find similarities in two such different novels. One is set in modern day, and technology has a pivotal role. The other is set both in 1860s and 1914. One is very romantic, the other is not. One has alternating pov between multiple characters, the other has only two pov (first and third). Outwardly they seemed entirely different, yet I realized their theme is the same: live life in the moment.

In my first novel, the character misses out on his life due to his aspiration for power. In my second, my mc becomes obsessed with the life of another woman, and also with the life she wishes to lead. Interesting to me how I wrote two novels with a recurrent theme without realizing it until I was done. What is also interesting to me is the variation in outcome. In the first novel, my power hungry character does not attain his wish. In my second she does, but only after she succumbs to her own life, and lets go of her desires, and not because of any action she takes but due to the movements of our world.

Have you noticed yourself writing the same themes, or perhaps characters that seem to follow you from one story to another?

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22 thoughts on “One of many

  1. That’s a fascinating discovery about a similar theme evolving from two very different novels.

    I see some similarity in themes, but your experience is definitely more dramatic than mine!

  2. Oh yes–I’m constantly trying to prevent myself from rehashing my favorite themes. But who can resist? I tend to craft characters according to my interests, and when writing two novels simultaneously, I often see recurring themes between the two. It will be interesting to look over my life’s work one day and notice how those themes changed over time!

    1. Hi Jenny! It has been so long – I hope all is well!!
      I have had the same though – I agree, it will be interesting. I was already thinking how neat it was that I have written two full novels.

  3. Great job meeting your goal with the draft! That’s wonderful, and particularly inspiring since I’m trying to meet my own goal, as you know. 🙂 Have a wonderful rest until the 7th!

    1. Thanks owlandsparrow (or should I be calling you Kayla?)! I hope all goes well with you as you finish up!
      I actually plan on getting a short finished with a last round of edits that my critique group last edited between now and the 7th – but it is a break of sorts.

      1. Thanks so much for your encouragement! Yesterday, I finally finished (the draft, anyway…’finished’ is sort of a subjective term, isn’t it?) – a great end to this year!

        Feel free to call me Kayla – perhaps one of these days I’ll officially add my name to my blog, hehe. Hope you and your family are doing well, and that you had a Merry Christmas!

      2. Thanks Kayla! We did have a great holiday – oh so bussy, and it ended with a bang – kids home an extra week beacause of being sick!
        Amazing that you did it – draft done! Good for you! This is the one that you re-wrote, yes? It must have metamorphed!

  4. Glad to hear you accomplished your writing goal and it’s ways wise to let a piece of work sit and come back to it with a fresh perspective. I’m sure once you read it through you’ll come across certain lines or paragraphs and marvel at how clever you writing is!!!

  5. What a fantastic Christmas present to yourself! Enjoy your three weeks “off” and may you be wonderfully surprised during your first read through by whole chunks that aren’t just good, but great. 🙂

    And yes, I totally notice recurring themes in my fiction, though, like yours, the plots and characters are entirely different.

    Have a lovely Christmas, Jennifer.

    🙂 Ev

  6. Unless you consciously deviate from a chosen or favorite genre, I don’t see how it IS possible to NOT repeat yourself.
    But is that a bad thing? We would like to think of oursleves as intelligent enough to have a variety of interests. And more than likely that is true. But I find my interests are of the real world and that my writing seems to generally fall into a scant fewer categories.
    It’s taken me quite some time to find my “voice”; if it can only sing one or two songs, so be it.
    Nevertheless, congratulations on completion. You are right to let the words rest, settle in, and then see which ones are too stubborn to realize that they just don’t belong.

    1. HI Tikiman! Nice to see you!
      I think you are right – I would probably have to delibertaly set out to not repeat myseslf in on matter or another. We are creatures of habit in some many ways, especially the subconsonscious, which is where I tend to write from.
      Happy singing, and Happy Holidays!

  7. Hi Jennifer,

    Yes, I’m constantly seeing the same themes in all my novels. Interestingly, the recurring themes seem to be the ones presenting the most difficulties for me. It’s good you’ve going back to the novel.

    Have a great Christmas.

    1. Good for you, Lawrence – sounds like the revision is going great! It feels great, doesn’t it, watching your work expand and become more refined?
      I have never used any software for writers, yet recently a lady in my critique recommended an editting software that she says works miracles. Maybe I’ll give them a try one of these days.
      Hope you had a good holiday!

  8. I read once that John Irving wrote with recurring themes of absentee fathers. He wasn’t aware of it at first, but all his mc’s had daddy issues.

    I tend to write in fish-out-of-water themes because it’s what I know and what I like to read.

  9. The writing’s taken off once again and I’m now at nearly 32,000 words. Still pretty hard going, but I think I’m on the right track.

    Hope you had a good holiday. I worked through some of it, thankfully.

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