The Premier Writing Organization
On California's Central Coast
Welcome to SLO NightWriters


General Meeting February 14th 2017

Round Tables Critique Sessions began at 5:15 pm

Terry Sanville and Mark Arnold will be here to critique your work

Please keep your submission to two pages, typed, 12-point font, double spaced. This is a great—and safe—way to see what the critiquing process is all about, get valuable feedback from two fantastic writers, and practice reading your work to a small audience

Susan Tuttle's Round Table 

The Instruction Round Table for February will focus on Extraordinary Endings. As Mickey Spillane says, “The first page sells [the current] book. The last page sells your next book.” We will explore the two-step process for ending any story; the 8 different types of endings, the 5 places to discover symbolism, the 5 types of twist endings, and how to successfully end your series novels to draw readers to the next volume. Come at 5:15 to the Instruction Table to discover how to lift ordinary endings into Extraordinary Endings. 

Please note that there will be a charge of $5:00 for all non members who attend a critic group or round table. Payment will be accepted at the entrance to the meeting.

Our Speaker this evening will be:

Diann Adamson 6:30 pm

Diann's presentation will focus on:  Theme

D. J. Adamson is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series and the Deviation science fiction-suspense trilogy.  Suppose, the second in the Lillian series has just been released.  She also teaches writing and literature at Los Angeles colleges. And to keep busy when she is not writing or teaching, she is the Membership Director of the Los Angeles Sisters in Crime, Vice President of Central Coast Sisters in Crime and an active member of the Southern California Mystery Writers. 

Major and Minor Themes

Major and minor themes are two types of themes that appear in literary works. A major theme is an idea that a writer repeats in his work, making it the most significant idea in a literary work. A minor theme, on the other hand, refers to an idea that appears in a work briefly and gives way to another minor theme. Examples of theme in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” are matrimony, love, friendship, and affection. The whole narrative revolves around the major theme of matrimony. Its minor themes are love, friendship, affectation etc.

Difference between a Theme and a Subject

It is important not to confuse a theme of a literary work with its subject. Subject is a topic which acts as a foundation for a literary work while a theme is an opinion expressed on the subject. For example, a writer may choose a subject of war for his story and the theme of a story may be writer’s personal opinion that war is a curse for humanity. Usually, it is up to the readers to explore a theme of a literary work by analyzing characters, plot and other literary devices.

Presentation of Themes

A writer presents themes in a literary work through several ways. A writer may express a theme through the feelings of his main character about the subject he has chosen to write about. Similarly, themes are presented through thoughts and conversations of different characters. Moreover, the experiences of the main character in the course of a literary work give us an idea about its theme. Finally, the actions and events taking place in a narrative are consequential in determining its theme.

Love and friendship are frequently occurring themes in literature. They generate emotional twists and turns in a narrative and can lead to a variety of endings: happy, sad or bittersweet. The following are famous literary works with love and friendship themes.

The theme of war has been explored in literature since ancient times. The literary woks utilizing this theme may either glorify or criticize the idea of war. Most recent literary works portray war as a curse for humanity due to the suffering it inflicts. 

Crime and mystery are utilized in detective novels. Such narratives also include sub-themes such as “crimes cannot be hidden”, “evil is always punished” etc.

Revenge is another recurrent theme found in many popular literary works. A character comes across certain circumstances that make him aware of his need for revenge. The outcome of his action is often bitter but sometimes they may end up being satisfied.

Theme is an element of a story that binds together various other essential elements of a narrative. It is a truth that exhibits universality and stands true for people of all cultures. Theme gives readers better understanding of the main character’s conflicts, experiences, discoveries and emotions as they are derived from them. Through themes, a writer tries to give his readers an insight into how the world works or how he or she views human life.

Janice Konstantinidis 

Programs Director

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