Search Results for: theme

How to Create a Complex Moral Argument for Your Theme

How to Create a Complex Moral Argument for Your Theme

On their surface, stories are nothing more than entertainment. They’re fun little ditties about cool people doing interesting things. But that’s not all stories are. Even the simplest of stories are saying something–they’re positing a moral argument about the world we live in. Cool, right? Even when we don’t intend to share a “message” with […]

Giveaway! Win a Unique Book-Themed Kindle Cover

Giveaway! Win a Unique Book-Themed Kindle Cover

More prizes! Woohoo! Ready for Round #3 in our month-long series of giveaways leading up to the BIG prize on December 4th, to celebrate the release of my dieselpunk/historical novel Storming? But of course you are. Today, I’m excited to share a little bit of old-school-meets-technology coolness. If you’re like me, you’ve kinda turned traitor on […]

Your Plot and Theme: Are They a Team?

We all know writing a book is no easy task. The reason it’s ultimately so tricky is that a novel must bring together about a gazillion little working pieces, which the author then has to somehow fit together, so they all start ticking together as a seamless whole. That’s like taking apart a Swiss watch and trying […]

What's the Difference Between Your Story's Theme and Its Message?

What’s the Difference Between Your Story’s Theme and Its Message?

One of the common myths about a story’s theme is that it must also be the story’s “moral” or “message.” Because theme always deals with fundamental truths that inevitably affect human morality, it’s easy to assume a story’s theme must always be specific and applicable to the readers. This isn’t necessarily a false assumption. As we’ve […]

Want a Powerful Theme for Your Novel? Play Devil's Advocate!

Want a Powerful Theme for Your Novel? Play Devil’s Advocate!

Here’s the thing about a powerful theme. It’s not black and white. It’s not the moral of the story. It’s not an answer–it’s a question. And here’s the thing about questions: they very often have more than one answer. Let’s say you’re writing a story that asks a simple little question like, “Is lying bad?” That seems […]

What Role Does Theme Play in Your Story's Climax

What Is the Role of Theme in a Story’s Climax?

Today, I’m going to be a bad blog writer. I’m not going to make you think at all to find the answer to the title question: “What is the role of theme in a story’s climax?” I’m just going to tell you straight up: The role of theme in your story’s climax is all-important. The […]

Don't Know Your Story's Theme? Take a Look at Your Character's Arc

Don’t Know Your Story’s Theme? Take a Look at Your Character’s Arc

What separates a good story from a great one? We might throw out a lot of opinions, but mine is this: Your story’s theme is what will raise it above the pack, out of mere entertainment into something that sticks with readers, impacts their lives, and maybe even challenges them to grow. Awesomesauce!, you say. […]

How Minor Characters Help You Discover Theme

How Minor Characters Help You Discover Theme

Is theme the moral of a story? Is it the message an author wants to share? Or is it something more inherent to the plot itself? If this were a multiple-choice test, then I’d hope you would have chosen C. Although theme is potentially both a moral and a message, neither of these should be […]

the all-important link between theme and character progression

The All-Important Link Between Theme and Character Progression

Theme is a slippery concept. The prevailing wisdom among writers is that if you apply any deliberate force to your theme, you’ll end up with a heavy-handed Aesop’s fable. On the other hand, a story without a theme is shallow escapism at best and an unrealistic flop at worst. Theme is arguably the single most […]

2 Different Types of the Lie Your Character Believes

The Lie Your Character Believes. It’s the atom waiting to be split, the bomb waiting to go off, the change waiting to happen in your character’s life. Even when hidden beneath layers of plot and theme, the Lie Your Character Believes is your story. You know this, of course. But did you know that sometimes […]