Dick and Henry: Themes / by Kenneth Buff

Themes are important to me when I'm writing a story. They're basically the heart of whatever it is your writing. When I write a story I usually have an idea of what the theme is going to be when I go into it, but sometimes that evolves. When I was writing Bad Dreams I knew the theme was going to be redemption, and as I wrote it different subplots kept popping up that highlighted this theme in different ways that I hadn't planned on. When I wrote Sunborn I knew the main theme was going to be loneliness, but other themes popped up as I wrote it (greed, self-destruction, etc.). Now that I'm writing Dick and Henry I'm trying to thicken up the story-telling a bit by making sure my themes are present, and that I'm not just creating a longer short story. This is really one of the most challenging novels I've written because the characters are already established, so now my job is to expand on those characters while staying true to their personalities, while also providing an intriguing story with lots of twists and turns that are true to the sci-fi and mystery genres, as well as making sure I have a unique and interesting antagonist.

That being said, I'm really enjoying writing this. It definitely is challenging, but in more of a fun way than a frustrating one. The fun is in taking already established character traits and expanding them, and sometimes turning them on their head. I think this is going to be one of people's favorite stories that I've written, or at least I hope so, only time will tell.

Well, back to themes. There's definitely more than one in Dick and Henry, some are more important than others, but like Bad Dreams and Sunborn, I want one theme to stand above the others as the clear takeaway of the book. I want readers to feel like the story has something to say about the human condition, and that it says it well. I guess for that to happen I need to get back to work. See you guys later.