The Theme of Everything

After hitting a recent creative dry spell, I found myself trying to come up with something to write.  I wouldn’t say I had writer’s block, if only because I could still write.  What I was after was a story or an idea to fall in love with.

I didn’t find it.

Instead, I started to see a pattern. Coming together slowly, I started to note that there’s a lot of imprisonment in my writing, literal and figurative.  I have a great deal of mental controls as well, either through brainwashing or telepathy.  Put it all together and a single idea materializes.

Free will.  What is free will?  What is freedom?  Does choice actually exist or is it an illusion?

I’ve written about telepaths for the longest time.  Free will comes up in Mind & Machine as Commander juggles his pursuit of Kathryn and his war against Decimal.  In Dual Identities, free will becomes even more important since Kathryn has to ask if her thoughts are actually her own.

Bridgett has to struggle a little with a conflict between her personal and physical desires in Vitamin F.  In “Dreams of Freedom,” Harrison is continuously encouraged to stop trying to help Bianca break free.  The protocols in Tesseract are a physical device that directly shapes thinking and behavior.  Many of the stories I have in mind to write deal with these same issues from distinct angles.

Writers, what are the main themes in your work?  Care to share them?


4 thoughts on “The Theme of Everything

  1. A lot of the time I start writing a story and then I realize that it’s got the same themes as my longest finished work, Lapse. Essentially, the idea that you cannot go back into the past and change anything, either by actual time travel, or by thought experiments, or through the rewriting of history.

    Another theme that pops up every now and then is the idea that mental illness is actually contagious.

    Sometimes I use deliberate symbols to say things — most often my characters feel that the moon is their protector. I also reference different kinds of citruses that mean things to me and no-one else. One day I will write down what they mean, somewhere. 😛

    1. It sounds like you’ve got a great handle on what’s hiding inside your writing. It sounds like you have a fascinating mythology in place as well. Seeing the moon as a protector is an intriguing idea.

      1. Everybody should have a mythology like that, so as to reward readers who have been reading them for a while! It’s very satisfying to realize what a certain symbol stands for, as long as the symbols don’t obscure the story.

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