The Soul of the Story

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King.

 Although the story On the Wings of Freedom is fictional, it brings life to the quote by Martin Luther King. When justice stands opposite immorality dressed-up in codified laws, the people must fight and eradicate these unjust laws with vigor and tenacity.

Thus, it explains the major theme of the story. 

As writers, we want to be inspired by the stories we write. We search for words that best define and express our beliefs and the ideas behind those beliefs. 

My first step in writing a book is to find an idea, premise, a belief I can rally behind and feel excited about bringing to life in a story. My next step is to find a situation that will challenge this belief; and then, find the characters who best embody the moral attributes to test the status quo. Then, I’m off and running.

The middle of the book is filled with pitfalls and successes that lead the hero/heroine to the epitome of danger: the climax; and then, to the eventual resolution, melding theme and plot to bring the story to an end.

Whether your hero/heroine is successful or not depends on what impact you wish to convey about your theme. At times, failure to accomplish their mission could make a more compelling argument about your theme than if they had succeeded.

It’s totally up to you, the writer, the master of your universe.

Playwright’s Corner – Let’s Talk about Themes

Let’s Talk About Themes


Our last conversation centered on how an idea for a play germinates.

Now that you have an idea you’ll need to develop it into a theme, which is best

stated in one sentence.

All plays have a theme or premise. Consider the themes for Romeo and Juliet: Love Conquers All or Great Love Defies Even Death. Despite the rift between their parents, a family feud that continued in the next generation, our star-crossed lovers fell in love and married, hoping to run away from the strife of their noble families and find happiness elsewhere.

Continue reading “Playwright’s Corner – Let’s Talk about Themes”

Stage to Page


For the previous two years, I have been writing vignettes for Untold Stories to celebrate Black History Month. Sponsored by the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield, I’ve written original one-act plays depicting little-known episodes in African American history. These were presented at several historic churches in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Patrons travel from one church to another to see the various stories. This year we’re focusing on Women’s History Month and will present three vignettes. One will highlight women’s contribution and sacrifice during the Civil War.

In 1862 and 1864, St. George’s Episcopal Church served as a hosptial and then waiting area for wounded Union soldiers until they could be tranfered to the field hospitals at Belle Plains. Northern women traveled south as members of the U.S. Christian Commission and U.S. Sanitary Commission to bring food, clothing and medical supplies. They also brought their courage, committment and Christian religion to comfort the soldiers. They cared for the sick in many ways: bandaging wounds, feeding those who had lost their limbs, and writing letters to the loved ones soldiers left back home.

Women also served as soldiers. Like Deborah Sampson in the Revolutionary War, they disguised themselves as men, enlisted, and witnessed the bloodiest battles of war and crossed enemy lines, as did Emma Edmonds, aka: Frank Thompson.