Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Melissa Foster

Today Writer Wednesday welcomes author Melissa Foster as part of her Wow! Women on Writing blog tour. As an author, Melissa has had plenty of experience with plotting.  I was thrilled to hear she was willing to talk about that with us.

First let me introduce you and then, enjoy an amazing guest post from Melissa on Weaving a Theme Throughout Your Book

**Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a copy of Melissa’s novel Megan’s way!**

About the Author:

Melissa Foster is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women. Melissa has written a column featured in Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa is currently working on her next novel and collaborating with a director to create a script for Megan’s Way. Melissa’s interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, and helping women see the positive side of life. Although Melissa lives with her family in Maryland she uses ever and anything as an excuse to visit one of her favorite spots: Cape Cod.

Just Thought You Should Know:
Melissa is working with a Texas director to on a script and casting for a movie based on her novel Megan’s Way. They hope to have the film completed by the end of the summer and then it’s on to the film festivals!

Weaving a Theme Throughout Your Book:

Weaving a theme throughout your novel, by Melissa Foster

You’ve finally sat down to write your novel, you might even have already created 10,000 words. Hurray for you! That’s a huge accomplishment. Then, a friend might ask if you’re following the rules for your genre. What? There are rules? Your head spins as they speak of word counts, showing versus telling, POV, themes, and subthemes. It’s almost enough to send you running in the opposite direction of your keyboard. Don’t let the confusion stop you from fulfilling your dream, just pick the rules apart, understand them, and conquer them.

Today we’ll talk about the theme of your novel. What’s a theme? The best way to answer that question is by asking yourself why you are writing your novel. Sometimes a theme is the overall tone of the novel, other times it might reflect a lesson you’d like your reader to come away with after reading.  When you can answer the “why”, you’ve found your theme! For instance, when I ask “why” about my novel, Megan’s Way, the answer is that I hope that readers will come away with a little more patience and understanding about the lives of others, and be a little less judgmental as well. I’d like to think readers find a renewed sense of forgiveness, and a feeling of hope as well.

Themes carry your reader from page to page, craving what happens next and disregarding their other obligations to find out. While you’re writing, be sure to carry your theme through each chapter. Your characters can take roller coaster rides with their emotions, but the overall theme of the book should be hinted at in every chapter, and carried through to the end, like a piece of thread that pulls it from start to finish. In Megan’s Way, no matter what each chapter reveals, or what secrets are uncovered, the importance of taking a step back, looking at each situation without judgmental eyes, and the ability to forgive, comes through.

I find myself drawn to books that have strong moral themes and heightened struggles. My second novel, Chasing Amanda, carries themes of believing in yourself, even when everything else in life tells you not to, and my current work-in-progress, Come Back to Me, deals with love, commitment, and betrayal, layered upon underlying despair. Conflicting emotions can lead to very strong themes

What’s your favorite theme? What themes do you dislike? If you’d like to chat about themes, or writing in general, please email me: thinkhappygirl (at) yahoo (dot) com. I love to chat with readers and writers!

Megan’s Way by Melissa Foster

When Megan Taylor, a single mother and artist living on Cape Cod, receives the shocking news that her cancer has returned, she’s faced with the most difficult decision she’s ever had to make. Megan’s illness reawakens the torment of her best friend, Holly Townsend, whose long-held secrets and years of betrayal come back to haunt her. How does one choose between a daughter and a life-long best friend? Can the secret she has been keeping be revealed after years of lying without destroying everyone in its wake?

But Megan isn’t the only one struggling. Fourteen-year-old Olivia’s world is falling apart right before her eyes, and there’s nothing she can do about it. She finds herself acting in ways she cannot even begin to understand. When her internal struggles turn to dangerous behavior, even the paranormal connection she shares with her mother might not be enough to save her – her life will hang in the balance. Megan’s Way is a journey of self discovery and heartfelt emotions, exploring the depth of the mother-daughter bond, and the intricacies of friendship.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Melissa’s book, Megan’s Way!!
You can learn more about Melissa and her books by checking out her Websites:

Melissa Foster’s websites:
http://thewomensnest.com/
http://melissafoster.com/

Melissa Foster’s blog:
http://melissafoster.com/blog/1

Megan’s Way book trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oq6wSElskU

10 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Melissa Foster

  • Hi Julie, thanks for hosting!

    XO,
    Melissa

  • The more I read about Megan’s Way the more intrigued I become. I like the idea of a theme in a book being about letting go of judgment and the summary makes me want to read more. I also liked reading your thoughts about weaving a theme in your writing…very helpful.

  • What a lovely post. I, too, use themes in my writing. My romance centers on women overcoming abuse. As I researched, I found that until recently attempted strangulation was not considered a violent crime against women. HELLOOOOoooo!!! The more I researched, the angrier I became. I wove more about strangulation into my story than I’d planned being the pantser I am. But for me to write a decent story I need a theme, what message do I want to convey? More often than not, that women are stronger than we give ourselves credit for being. I enjoyed your post very much. Wishing you great book sales.

  • Valerie Haight

    The more I learned about themes, the more I HAD to make this right. Why wouldn’t I keep a theme in mind? It’s a guideline to help you pull that drawstring tight! And readers love tight! It keeps us on the edge of our seats, turning pages and wanting more. I’m constantly learning things like themes catch an agent/editor’s eye. And THAT’S what we writers crave!! Thanks for the invaluable knowledge and congrats on all your great success! I can’t wait to read all three of these books!

  • Patty, thank you so much. It was really important to me to bring the theme of letting go of judgment into the story. I often feel people are too judgmental, and I think if we all thought about others more, instead of judging their decisions, our world might be a more peaceful place. I hope you enjoy Megan’s Way. Please send me an email if you read it and let me know what you think the story:-)

    Vonnie and Valerie, themes are such an important element for your novels. We, as writers, can’t learn enough about them. It seems there’s something new to pick up from each author as you read their books. Write on, ladies :-) Thanks for stopping by!

    XO,

    Melissa

  • Hello all! Megan’s Way just won the 2011 Beach Book Festival in the Spiritual category!

  • I loved your article. Themes are so important and I believe it’s the overall message that your book has to offer. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’m reading Chasing Amanda now and enjoying it. Theme almost provides the glue for the story, holding it together while it holds the reader to the page. Nice post.

  • [...] Melissa Foster: Weaving a Theme Throughout Your Book [...]

Leave a Reply

  

  

  


*

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>