Insecure Writer's Support Group

Character Choices #amreading #IWSG

*If you’re looking for my A-Z post for today, check the main blog page.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Learn more here.

The each time I do this read-a-thon for my A-Z Challenge posts, I read so many books in so many genres in so many series, that I feel utterly exhausted. Of course, I did it again for this year’s A-Z Challenge. LOL.

Learn more about the A-Z Challenge here.

Why? Because my TBR is always out of control. There are so many books I want to read and just never seem to get around to. I know many others have the same issue: Instagram is full of photos of physical TBR bookshelves and the pride they feel when the books aren’t double-stacked anymore. Until the next shopping spree…

Many of the books I read for this challenge, I’ve had for years. And despite my voracious reading every month, I somehow just don’t get to these as my TBR just keeps growing.

But that’s a choice.

Which brings me to what I actually wanted to write about: how the themes of a book are tied to the choices characters make.

The theme, as any writer knows, is the meaning behind the story as conveyed through plot and the characters’ journeys. The soul, the heartbeat of the story, if you will.

Themes usually revolve around judgment/prejudice (the character being different from the norm and being judged for it by society, usually with negative consequences), survival (the character has to overcome countless odds to live another day), peace and war (the character is in the grip of turmoil and conflict while reminiscing about the good old days or hoping for a better world), love (not just steamy romances, but love in all its forms), courage and heroism (false or true, usually both to explore what it truly means), good and evil (not just as abstract notions but what it means to the character), circle of life (the different phases of life and what it means to live and to die), suffering (physical and psychological), deception (physical or social, it’s about keeping secrets and the effect it has), coming of age (growing up isn’t easy and becoming the person you want to be is a difficult journey), power and corruption (how power over others can easily be abused, these two are usually used together to explore both sides).

Those are the ones I can think of from the top of my head. I think “The Odyssey” might fit all of the above… And so does “Star Wars”!

Anyhow, reading so many books and reviewing them, really makes one think about what characters choose to do and the consequences they have to face for their choices. And when theme is done well, it is what readers conclude for themselves as they experience the consequences along with the character, learning lessons along the way.

I think it is also what makes a story a favourite and gives it lasting value.

the content of your character is your choice day by day what you choose what you think and what you do is who you become heraclitus

What do you think? Do you have a favourite story? Do you know what that story’s themes are? What does your TBR look like? Remember to check out my A-Z posts this month for book recommendations and reviews. You can learn loads more about reviews and other author tips on my For Authors page here.

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7 thoughts on “Character Choices #amreading #IWSG”

  1. I read in a lot of different genres too and read middle grade through adult. My TBR list is way too long too but I love books and can’t stop myself from adding them to my list. Good luck with the A-Z challenge.

  2. My physical TBR pile (at the head of my bed, where in an earthquake they can all fall painfully onto my noggin) is out of control. My virtual TBR piles are even worse. And that’s the way it should be, because it makes it easy to find something that I feel like reading at any time!

  3. Late to the party. Your comparing Star Wars and the Odyssey made me snort with mirth. So good. I am a “traditionalist” reader (and writer). I believe in there and back again stories with happy endings. I do not know why, but your enumerating of themes made me think of “Brideshead Revisited” and Sigrid Undsets duology “Gymnadenia”/”The Burning Bush” (Maybe not the right names in English – I just translated from Norwegian – very like my Danish native tongue).

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