According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word motif means "a usually recurring salient thematic element (as in the arts)." It's one of my favorite literary words because it the motifs a writer uses in their work reveals as much about the writer as they do what they write. This is great self analysis I suppose though I'm probably too close to the subjects to comment on them, but looking across all the crap (and until some editor deems that I am the genius that I think I am, I'm calling my stuff crap) that I've written, I've picked up on some motifs and elements that would identify me as the writer:
- Bonds of friendship between men: Okay this one is in just about everything I write no matter what the genre and I KNOW it's one that I play with and explore. Henry V is my favorite Shakespeare play and it's one of the major themes of that play and it's crossed over into all of my work, from my trunk novel The Falling Dark to my Seasons of Destiny books to the novella I'm working on now, the friendships between guys is an important theme.
- Children paying for the sins of their parents: Mostly sons paying for their father's transgressions but there's other examples in their too. It really is one of the major themes of Seasons of Destiny and I definitely put it in Sisters of Khoda as well. I know that I want to tell a Jaiman story revolving around some mistake his father made as well somewhere down the line.
- Trees: It might have been the fact that a tree took my first two teeth when I was younger, it might be that I'm fascinated with the power and mystique of them, but in all of my work trees take a central role. From the "witchwoods" in Seasons to the grotto in Sisters, there's a lot of thematic importance to trees.
- Betrayal: As a writer of fantasy, betrayal is my bread and butter to be quite honest, but it's an important part of all my stories, even my self indulgent attempts at contemporary fiction.