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Except that I never do type THE END. Somehow it seems very silly and redundant. "Well, I can see that it's the end, you idiot. And if you feel it necessary to inform me, you had much better go back and try again."
At any rate, on to today's question, which was asked outright by Sarah Ellen and Joy and was rather implied by Writer's question as well.
what is the theme you want to convey in your book?
what is the greatest theme or purpose that so far prevails in tempus regina?
where does the story begin and how will the character's, well, character, change over the course of the story?
I don't believe I have ever started out a novel knowing, from page one or sometimes even from page one hundred and three, what the final driving theme was going to be. I know some people do, and I confess it baffles me. I think if I were to try it I would tend toward heavy-handedness, since the framework of the story would have to be fit within the confines of the writer's overarching purpose, rather than the purpose growing out organically from the framework. This, then, to say that as I write I do not have a single primary theme which I want to convey - a single primary theme I feel readers must get, and without which the book will have failed. I'm just, well, writing a book!
However, if the book is good, themes will inevitably show. They're what make the story cohesive and what give it emotive power, and without them your plot lacks spirit. Throughout the writing process of Tempus Regina, as was the case with The White Sail's Shaking - No, I take back my previous statement: I think the theme of Wordcrafter might have been present from day one. But it has always been a different kind of story, so it doesn't count. At any rate, throughout the process of writing my other novels, I've been able to watch the themes develop almost on their own. Certain ones are recurring, and they include themes Sarah mentioned in her comment: good versus evil (perhaps the most fundamental of all); love; friendship; sacrifice.
All of these are present in Tempus Regina, but others have revealed themselves. This novel deals with good and evil, but more particularly with the inner struggle of "the Spirit against the flesh," of the new man versus the old. It deals with the desperate wickedness of the heart, and the sin that remains post-regeneration. All of which, I might add, is significantly messier than dealing with any given villain. The protagonist and antagonist in a single body is a troublesome dichotomy, and coming face to face with it in the character of Regina has been difficult.
There is another theme as well, though, which is perhaps even less pleasant, and that is the theme of duty. We are not, I think, particularly fond of either the word or the concept. It gets a very bum rap. As soon as the subject is broached, out come the verses about God loving a cheerful giver and the joy of the Lord and a thankful spirit and all those very true, very good things. All that we do should indeed be done out of love to God and to our neighbor - but I don't think we're foolish enough to make out that it is. And that is when duty enters the equation: those times when it seems as though our whole soul is opposed to what we know to be right and we've got to force ourselves into it anyhow, praying (hopefully) that God would be gracious enough to grant us the proper love, making our sacrifice acceptable to Himself.
This latter theme is the one that most directly affects Regina, the one in which she is most challenged, and for myself it has been the greatest one of Tempus Regina. Perhaps, however, different perspectives will mine different themes. I hope so. I am not a terribly subjective, "whatever it means to you" person, but there are really so many facets of the story that in this case it is very nearly true.
When you read the book, you will have to tell me.