Posted by: victanguera | May 25, 2011

Themes: Writing Prompt #334

I recently started watching Doctor Who. Yeah, I’m only about 40 years late to the party, but don’t watch much TV so only even heard about it recently. One thing I’ve noticed (more so than with any other show I’ve watched), is that each season has a recurring theme (okay, so I’m trying to catch up and have watched several years worth of Doctor Who in the last week).

One season, Bad Wolf came up in almost every episode. The viewer didn’t find out what that meant until the end of the season. Another season, Torchwood was the theme (it even became a show in its own right). There was the crack in the wall. I’m not sure what this year’s theme is as I’ve only seen two and a half episodes, but I’m sure it will become apparent.

So for today’s prompt, think about the theme of your story (if there is one). Even if you don’t think one exists, it is probably there. You might just need to dig for it. Are you using aliens to talk about belonging? Vampires to talk about what defines us as humans? Some connections are obvious, so what can you dig for that isn’t as obvious? What about using vampires to explore compassion? Zombies to talk about ethics? A murder mystery with boredom for a theme?



  1. Right now, mystery stories to talk about how human intelligence can (with effort) solve even apparently impossible problems.

    And, on the other hand, how not all questions need to be answered and not all mysteries need to be solved.

    • how not all questions need to be answered and not all mysteries need to be solved.

      As a theme, that is brilliant. It is a nice twist on the mystery genre.

      • I first got the idea from Ellery Queen, where in the middle period mysteries (after the more formulaic early ones, before the ghostwritten later ones) they really explored the idea that some mysteries are better off not solved, or at least the solutions should sometimes be kept quiet (this is touched in in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also).

        I’m doing something somewhat different. I’m letting my detective character learn that the people around her, including the ones she’s closest to, may have secrets and she may not need to know the answers.

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