Monday, February 7, 2011

Recurring Themes and You

We like to think that we're saying something unique and original Every Single Time We Write...or at least, I do.

Such is not always the case. Our lives are limited to, well, our lives. Our passions are limited to (you guessed it) our passions. In general, these things don't radically change. Patterns emerge and repeat.

Well, it's nice to know that Virginia Woolf is no exception. You wanna know what her recurring theme is?

Time, and how it goes on by.

She could probably put it much more succinctly, and often does, in her writing. If you just take a peek at her titles, you can see the theme repeating:

Now and Then
The Years
Night and Day
Monday or Tuesday
"The Moment" (essay)
"Time Passes" (section in To the Lighthouse)
The Hours (original title of Mrs. Dalloway)

I could go on, but I think the point is illustrated. It shows up in her diary over and over again too--she is constantly wondering how much time she has left. It's probably no quirk of fate that, when it came down to it, she chose her own time to leave.

We write about what's important to us. What's important to you? Does it show up in your writing?

5 comments:

  1. I think for me, it's that being different is good thing.

    I also noticed (as I was polishing a manuscript today) that I use my characters dreams as a tool--not good if done repeatedly. Funny how that stuff doesn't stand out until you take a step back, and look at the big picture.

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  3. I've noticed that I write about families in trouble a lot--relationships that need to work themselves out or a crisis has happened and they need to deal with the aftermath.

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  4. Absent mothers. Even the mother who is still alive in TKoS isn't really there for her kids. At least, not in a good way.

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  5. Redemption, transformation, and the strange and miraculous ways people reach out to each other and connect.

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