To be quite honest, I have no idea what this is. I was told once I had a lovely theme running through THE LADY'S FATE, but until she pointed it out to me, I had no clue I'd even written one.
I'm presuming a theme is a recurring item, or something, that keeps showing up in the book. Let's go with that for the time being. (I'm too tired to look it up and then get bogged down in some scholary discussion.)
While I've been away, my latest character Kate, has come knocking on my door. Which is nice. At least I know who I'm going to be working with for the next little while. I know how the story starts, I know where it goes. Still not quite sure how it ends yet, but that's another post.
Anyway, while Kate and I have been schmoozing about her story, something clicked in my head, not like a light bulb, more like an explosion. I always knew Kate had a somewhat troubled childhood, but I didn't know why, until (as I was semi-plotting/outlining) I saw her sitting on the couch thumbing through a photograph album. Kind of the same way Aunt Fortuna did in REMEMBERING YOU.
Where Aunt Fortuna was looking at her life in comparison to what she would leave behind, Kate is looking at her childhood to see where it would take her. And that is where my explosion happened.
See, Kate's father was killed in a mill fire (he was Captain of the Fire Dept.) and there are pieces of her childhood that elude her. What she finds in the photograph album were the pieces. And that, my friends, is the revelation! Ta Da!
I guess this is my theme then -- photographs. I don't know if it's going to be in all my women's fiction, but I know when I look at photographs, I find out things about myself and my past that I never really thought about before. It's a good mirror.
Tell me -- Do you use themes in your writing? Do you know what they are?