Friday, 6 January 2012

The Same But Different

Sara Grant, author of Dark Parties, asks: what beats at the heart of your stories?

*We interrupt this blog for a brief announcement...yesterday was a significant milestone here on the EDGE. Three EDGY writers celebrated the publication of their first books – Fifteen Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins, Fairy Tale Twists, a series for 5+, by Katie Dale and Dark Parties by Sara back to our regularly scheduled blog.*

I’d like to think each story I write is its own unique work of fiction – different genres, plots, characters, settings, points of view etc... But if I dig deep enough, I typically find that the same heart beats at the core of each story.

Julia Cameron calls this an author’s Vein of Gold. She believes every artist has a thematic area where their work shines. As part of a bigger exercise, she asks writers to list their five favourite movies and mine them for theme. What do they have in common? She suggests that this is the type of story that writer should be writing.

In film criticism there is a similar concept known as the auteur theory. The idea that the director’s makes a creative watermark on each of his/her films. His/her personal vision shines through to create a ‘family resemblance’ in each of his/her films. Think of films by Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese.

I’m currently promoting my debut novel Dark Parties, revising my second book and starting a third novel. Even though these are all stand-alone novels, the heart of these stories is the same: a belief that one person can change the world.

What’s at the heart of your stories? 


  1. Well that's a bit thought-provoking. I thought mine were all about good vs. evil, but when it comes right down to it, I think that's a bit blythe. I think the real answer lies in the fact that all my protagonists are quite dark - fighting against the darkness in their own souls (as it were). I think the heart of my stories must be about finding the good inside yourself, knowing about the dark-side, finding a way to live with it but ultimately becoming a much lighter shade of grey!

  2. I think the connecting factor in mine is to ask yourself a lot of questions. Also the value of friendship seems to come up a lot.

  3. I write because I have something to say, usually something quite controversial and challenging and that seems to inspire me to start writing and keep going.

  4. That post has made me think, Sara! The common veins through my writing seem to be loyalty, betrayal and survival.
    Congratulations to you, Sara, and to Dave and Katie on your book publishing day!