Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

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~ Step 133 ~

Theme - Act One Beginning

Theme is intriguing because it is the most emotionally powerful part of your story, but also the least structured.  Previously, you have determined which aspects of your Thematic Topic, Message Issue, Counterpoint, and Main Character dilemma you wish to explore in acts one, two, and three.

Now it is time to get a bit more specific and divide each act's exploration of theme into Beginning, Middle, and End.

Act one is where you establish your theme.  It must be done clearly, but gently, so as not to appear to ham-handed.

Don't forget that the thematic message issue and the counterpoint should never appear together in the same scene or at the same dramatic moment.  If they do, it make your theme appear preachy as it seems you are telling your readers what to think, rather than letting them make their own decisions.

In this step, list the illustrations of your theme you developed for the first act that you wish to present in the beginning of act one to establish the method of development you selected from the three approaches (small to large, large to small, mixed).