Monday, 1 August 2011

What's in a Theme? (originally posted at Rhemalda in March 2011).

It wasn’t until long after I’d finished writing the Artesans of Albia series that I realized there were several themes running throughout each book. I didn’t set out to explore these topics – they just appeared naturally as part of the characters’ lives. I guess there are themes in every fiction novel, otherwise there would be no plot, but I confess that mine snuck up on me.
Having realized this, and taken a good look at my writing with the aim spotting these themes, it became clear that the main subjects are personal development, and humility in power. At the start of King’s Envoy, Taran Elijah is a desperate man, struggling with a deep yet unfulfilled desire to learn the control of his power. Taran’s yearning has been frustrated by the death of his mentor (who also happened to be his father), and the fact that the Artesan power is in serious decline in Albia.
This concept of “what lengths might a person go to in order to achieve their potential” was the catalyst that kick-started my Artesan series, as I mentioned in my I DIDN’T WANT TO BE AN AUTHOR blog post. What I didn’t realize was how fundamental to the entire series this seemingly insignificant idea had become.
“Artesans” follows Taran through several stages of his life. In many ways he alters beyond all comprehension, yet in one major factor, his nature remains unchanged. I didn’t plan this, and it fascinates me. With no conscious help from me, Taran took control of his destiny and his nature developed at its own pace.
Taran Elijah is not the only character to have his nature exposed and tested to extremes in “Artesans”. Humility in power is another strong premise running throughout the series, and two other characters demonstrate completely different sides to this fundamental topic. As I don’t want to give too much away, you’ll just have to read the books to find out who they are and what effect this conflict has on the plot.

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