Looking over the different WIPs I’ve got right now and trying to decide on mini-goals for some of them for NaNoWriMo, I’ve realised that a lot of my stories have similar themes. They’ll have completely different characters and plots, but often the overarching themes feel kind of similar. So I thought I’d share with you all some of the ones I’ve noticed.
Close Sister Relationships
Four out of the six WIPs I’ve got floating around right now feature a strong sister relationship, most of them with the protagonist and older sister and one that is just in the background. I find this kind of fascinating because I don’t have a sister myself—my best friend, Katey, is the closest thing I’ve got and she’s lives halfway across the world. But there’s something I really enjoy about writing these kinds of relationships. I think often the relationships women have with other women, whether they be platonic, familial or romantic, are hidden away or devalued. Most of my most meaningful relationships have been with other women—my mum and grandmothers, my best friends, and my mentors. I suppose this makes a lot of sense to me.
Even when I’m reading, I’m a sucker for books that are set somewhere outside of the US or UK. The WIP that I refer to as ‘my main novel’ is set in Copenhagen, another in a small town in Wales and another in the country town my mum grew up in here in Victoria. I love to travel and since that’s not something I can do as often as I’d like to (even pre-COVID), sometimes I have to settle for just writing those places into my stories.
I don’t have a single WIP where my protagonist does not have some kind of disability, chronic illness or mental illness. I live with all three of those on a day-to-day basis as do a lot of my friends so for me, disability is something that makes up a large portion of my life and the world around me. It’s also important to me because growing up, or even as a teenager, I never saw this part of myself represented anywhere. It’s getting a little better now, but it’s not nearly enough. And you know what they say, be the change you want in the world.
Those are the three I’ve really noticed lately, but I’m sure some others will pop up as I write throughout November. Have you noticed any recurring themes in your writing?