While I cannot be accused of writing the same book over and again, I have noticed that I tend to return to a set of themes that are tattooed in my soul.
· Reluctant hero/reluctant messiah. Ordinary persons thrust into extraordinary events must rise to meet great challenges.
· Outcasts. A character who doesn’t fit in because of some extraordinary trait (werewolf, Neanderthal, giantism, psychic abilities) learns to accept and love herself while coming to terms with other people. These abilities cause self-conflict. Often the character is afraid of her own power and tries to keep it secret. By the end of the story, the character has usually learned how to cope with her powers. I loved Tarzan: The Legend of Lord Graystoke.
· Larger-than-life characters. Similar to above. The character is a musical genius, a painter, an explorer, a gladiator.
· The underdog. The character is abused, but at last wins justice (or revenge) and triumphs.
· Discovering an extraordinary world (lost civilization, alien race, etc.) or a revelation which shows this world to be more beautiful and terrible than had been noticed (the wake-up slap to the head).
· Love will find a way = characters who fall in love and stay together despite major differences (the professor and the waitress, the prize-fighter and the gentle vegetarian, the rationalist and the mystic, etc).