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Discussion Starter #1
Well, maybe "theme" is not quite the right word.

I'm doing a final edit of my current WIP and I've suddenly realised that each time somebody is in my main character's flat, they look for food and are disappointed to find "only vegetables"  or "no snack foods". It almost comes across as a running joke, but I was totally unaware of it!

I also had quite a few scenes where one character watched another as they slept - had to delete some of these as it was getting a bit weird.  And I also revealed my own habits as my characters put on the kettle for tea at every chance they get.

Do you guys have these kinds of unintended writing patterns?
 

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I've had it happen.  Someone will read a book and point out, "It's very clever that so-and-so happen in a running theme..." and I'll be like "huh? Really?....err yeah, I meant to do that."  :)
 

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Masha du Toit said:
I also had quite a few scenes where one character watched another as they slept - had to delete some of these as it was getting a bit weird.
Haha, too funny.
Only unintended theme so far is that there is almost always a cat somewhere in my story that ends up taking a central role in the plot. Not sure what's going on there. I have a dog at home, but no cats.
 

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I seem to have assorted themes that appear, depending on the genre I'm working in. Dreams almost always feature. I find my characters tend to dream. Why? I don't know. The day/night cycle also features prominently in my narratives.
Then I have run of the mill themes that range from talking cats (in my fantasy work) through to incest and violence. I also seem to like underground tunnels - no idea why.  Sexual ambiguity also features, along with the magic realism of chatty dead people who want to put in their two cents worth.
I'm sure a Jungian therapist would have a field day with my work. I try not to question things too deeply. If it aint broke, don't fix it :)
 
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I've had in 4 of my last 6 stories an early scene with a girl being punched repeatedly in the face by a man while lying on the ground after being knocked down. Not completely planned, but it seems to be an easy go-to plot device to establish the toughness of the heroine (in a contemporary setting) when she rallies and fights back.

P.S. one of the other 2 stories starts with the MC fighting another girl (who's about equally as strong/tough as the heroine, and tougher than most guys) in a brutal lunchroom brawl with headfirst drops onto the hard floor, metal trash can hits and numerous knees to the face, and the other with the MC fighting a man who refuses to follow up after knocking her down out of wariness of her countering. Go girly fisticuffs!
 

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Interesting thread. I seem to have a lot of mother/daughter issues in my books. I don't think that's because of any problems I had with my mom though. Now my mother-in-law would be a different story. But I did raise four daughters, so maybe that's where it stems from.

Joyce
 

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My husband and I are writing a serial together and he pointed out that no one ever opens a door normally in my stories. It's always some dramatic thing.

I looked at my old books and realized, wow.

So I'm the Queen of Drama Doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
TexasGirl said:
My husband and I are writing a serial together and he pointed out that no one ever opens a door normally in my stories. It's always some dramatic thing.

I looked at my old books and realized, wow.

So I'm the Queen of Drama Doors.
:) I have a tendency to begin a scene with somebody either just outside a door, or closing it behind them :p Very pedestrian.
 

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In terms of the food thing, my characters are always cooking either breakfast or pasta in my books. I just realized it recently, and I'm trying to change it up. :)

I guess I like cooking scenes for dialogue because people are doing stuff and it's real helpful for action tags. You know:

She stirred the eggs. "What do you mean Darth Vader is my father?"
He set the skillet on the stove. "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

:)
 

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Well, as I noted here, I seem to have several characters with disabilities in my series. I wasn't aware of that (which says a lot about how I perceive disabilities), but it came to light in a review on a website looking for fiction with believable/realistic disabled characters.

Another theme I notice is that many of my characters are artists - musicians, sculptors, - or otherwise place themselves outside 'regular' society - assassin, hacker, yakuza, triad.
 
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I always have people who are reformed or struggling to reform smokers, who would really love to still be a smoker - this is obviously an internal struggle that is playing out in my books, although I kicked the habit years ago. 

In my last book, there was more coffee drank than in all Friends episodes put together!
 

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I have scenes in each of my novels (including one in progress) where the main character is exercising vigorously. It's just too easy of a tool for developing a character's physical appearance and personal discipline. Also, I get to explore the character's thoughts while they work out. AND (I can't believe I'm still thinking of reasons for this pattern) if my character goes for a jog/run, I can describe the setting in a fleeting, but vivid manner.
 

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Edward M. Grant said:
Goats keep sneaking into my unpublished novels for some reason.

Maybe it's time to stop deleting them and make sure every novel has one in future.
;D

Food features prominently in a lot of my books. It's rather rare that nobody has a conversation over a meal, somewhere along the way.
 

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George Berger said:
Food features prominently in a lot of my books. It's rather rare that nobody has a conversation over a meal, somewhere along the way.
By coincidence, goat curry features prominently in 'Horror Movie'. There's a reason they called him Vindaloo.

I really must finish that novel this year and publish it :).
 

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PAGING DALYA!  PAGING DALYA!

I could swear she mentioned the phenomenon whereby a writer unintentionally includes personal habits in a repetitive pattern without realizing.  For instance, Hemingway rarely described a meal (or person, or table, or battle) without mentioning drinks.

I just can't recall (or Google) the name of it.

In my case, characters are constantly confused.  Which sounds about right.

For the rest of you, I'm not sure what this phenomenon says.  :)
 

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I just recently noticed that every novel I write (no matter the genre) boils down to a hero recognizing a critical problem with the status quo (which is not a particularly interesting trend) but then most of his or her struggle isn't with the problem itself, it's deciding whether to try to follow the rules and fix the system from within or go rogue and attack the problem directly.

My most heroic (and, of course, most abused) characters are always the ones determined to operate within the system. I find that interesting because, in the handful of cases where this has been a real struggle in my own life, I've always gone the other direction. I've always just opted out of the community instead of trying to improve it.
 
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