Friday, February 24, 2012

Recurring Themes in Your Writing

Do you ever look back at your old writing and see common threads or themes that you can’t seem to escape?

I realized the other day that I’ve written quite a few stories that involve making cakes. Three (drawer) picture books that involve cake and one MG novel where making a cake is part of the story. And now in my latest project, my characters are cooking and working on dessert. [There's also an idea waiting to be written that involves cake.]

I don’t really even have any baking or cake-making expertise, except for around the house kind of fooling around. And an obsession with visiting cupcake shops when we're on vacation. Maybe all this is telling me something—I should be taking cake baking classes instead of writing? Hmm. At least I'd get to eat all the practice versions instead of sticking them away in drawers. 

What keeps cropping up in your writing? Do you work to avoid it or try to expand on it?


14 comments:

  1. I have three stories that feature peas in an unflattering light. My mother scarred me by forcing me to eat them - LOL!

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    1. Ha! I think I also have a drawer PB about a kid not liking peas...

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  2. What I love most about this is that you don't especially love making cakes yourself!

    My stories feature a pet (usually a dog, but one is a horse) that is a best friend and helper--simply because I feel that way about my own dog.

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    1. That's so sweet! Now I want to put my dog in a novel.

      I do like making cakes sometimes but now my 16 yr old is the one who often does the special occasions.

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  4. Maybe you were a baker in a previous life. :-) I'm one to talk, though. My MG has a main character desperate to take a cake decorating class. Maybe your characters and mine should become friends.

    I never thought about it until just now, but all my stories involve siblings. I guess it's because my two brothers meant (and still mean) so much to me growing up and my own children love and value each other so deeply.

    Interesting post!

    (PS. Stupid no editing feature...)

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    1. Ooh, Car! Now you've given me an idea for another cake story - the ghost baker!

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  5. Themes definitely. I don't why, but suicide keeps popping up my novels. I'm beginning to wonder if that's my brand. lol

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    1. Stina, maybe it's because suicide is something you find hard to understand, so you're writing your way through to understanding?

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  6. Houses! There's almost always a house that's almost like a character.

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    1. So interesting, Marcia! I've lived in many houses (we moved a lot when I was a kid) but I don't pay a lot of attention to house part of the setting, in my stories. (Of course, only one of my novels actually has an ordinary house in it).

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  7. Yummy! Cake.

    Family loss. Being abandoned by a parent. It's interesting since both parents are still in my life but I see this in all of my novels --- characters being abandoned by one or both of their parents.

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    1. All this talk of cake is making me think I should do some baking.

      The kids in my novels all have some problems with their parents too -- either one is missing, they don't know who they are or their family is broken up.

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  8. This is an interesting question. I think my obsession is tea. My characters spend their time making it, drinking it - or in one work, forever putting the kettle on and never making tea (that wasn't deliberate, just bad writing) :-)

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