Friday, September 18, 2020

Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader, do your stories ever have more subtle or intuitive themes?

I do not have a clue as to ow ths unannounced new bloggin software (formerly Blogger) now POS is going to look after I try to create this post.You cannot find out where to enlarge the font. POst will be, perfoce, short. Back to the main theme. I think most good novels have enough complexity to contain subtle or intuitive themes. My current WIP, tentatively titled, "Lizzie, Bender Ledoux" is set in a small Mennonite community in South Central Kansas. Lizzie tries to be a good citizen and a good Mennonite, but she has a yen for movies and everything French: novels, songs, language, everything. She learned French in school to prepare for becoming a missionary for the Mennonites and she was sent to the Belgian Congo in 1936. When war broke out, the missionaries had to leave due to the danger of being torpedoed at sea. Lizzie reluctantly returned to Kansas, married a wonderful man, not a Mennonite, left the church and came back five years later in 1948 after being widowed. She was not able to have children and this has been her great burden. At heart, she is a rebel and trying hard to walk the straight and narrow path, but her new obsession is the current movie "Moulin Rouge," set in the dance halls of Paris. It's never stated, but rebellion is another theme. Family is still another. Lizzie watches out for her brother with epilepsy. She is close to her sister and the rest of the family and helps with the harvest and the canning. Lizzie refuses to marry anyone who is not as cultured and educated (college degree) as she is. Currently no one meets this qualification, and in her small community, it's unlikely she'll ever find anyone. In the opening scene, Lizzie doesn’t realizing that a brutal murder is taking place in the parking lot while she is dancing to the jukebox. Lizzie meets the cop on the case and offers her theories and suggestions. He seems amenable to them. She gets involved in finding the murderer, and is also taken with the cop, but he is married. Her longing for a mate (and as a Mennonite, this must be a husband) is unspoken throughout most of the novel. Lizzie stays busy in the community, but busy is not the same thing as fulfilled. She has always wanted to go to Paris and that is another wish unfulfilled. Because it is Kansas, food and feeding one’s loved ones well is important. Feeding people demonstrates love. I don’t want to give the whole story away, but you may have an idea where things are headed. Apologies for just one photo. The new software is awful and the print is so tiny I can’t see the typos. Forgive?
The bloggers below are hopefully not fighting to use the “new and improved” Blogger software. ROTFL Take a look at their thoughts on this subject. And thanks to Rhobin for managing this group blog. Skye Taylor Vines Judith Copek Diane Bator Fiona McGier Dr. Bob Rich Anne Stenhouse Victoria Chatham Helena Fairfax Rhobin L Courtright<


  1. Anonymous2:54 AM

    Judy, I share your frustration with "improvements" to software. I think those people born with a silver byte in their mouths don't know no nothin' about how it affects ornery people.
    Your description of Lizzie also speaks to me. And I do think you must have hidden, subtle themes in there that will get readers in.
    Bob Rich

  2. As I consider this months topic I think your statement that there are themes to all stories is true. Maybe we don't go looking for them but they are still there. Some more obvious and some hidden until we delve deeper. Good luck with the new software. Thankfully for me my website host doesn't have troubling options and when I do get stuck, it's a small host and I always get a personal and immediate response to help me out.

  3. I think you pointed out something very true, aspects of love, family, and friendship along with hardships and the main character's personality are often intuitive themes in many stories.

  4. Ah, yes, the New Blogger. I had a problem with the links, too. Of course the Blogger help is no use whatsoever. :(.

  5. That's nothing! I spent more than 2 weeks trying to get a simple thing resolved over the summer! Finally I had to have an on-line support person who went to her supervisor, then the next higher-up person, and they were able to instruct me as to how to do what I needed to do. It was quite simple, really--one of my sons had set up my website 11 years ago when he was home from college. Now he's married with 2 sons, and has never had anything to do with my website--but he was still showing up as the owner! Over 2 weeks of emails, phone calls, etc! I know we're dependent on it, but I HATE technology! It's NOT intuitive to me!


    Okay, yes, you're right about themes being integral to our characters. It's part of why the readers connect with them and grow to care about them.

  6. Hi Judy, I don't use blogger but I do know about other techie malfunctions.
    I think your current wip character sounds fascinating and I hope, as the aithor, you cut her some slack before the end. anne

  7. This sounds like an intriguing story. I didn't know too much about the Belgian Congo until I saw a movie called Palm Trees in the Snow. It was quite enlightening. And I totally agree with you on Blogger's upgrades. The site now is not as user-friendly and frustrating because it takes so long to figure it out.


Your comments are always welcome!