The Secret to a Spectacular story is a Powerful Theme.
- Why do you need a powerful theme?
- What is a theme?
- A compelling theme adds inner richness to your book
- A theme creates a memorable story
- Consider your theme before you write
- Does your theme impact the soul?
- Finding a theme in your finished story
- 6 steps to add extra power to your theme
- To sum up
Why Do You Need a Powerful Theme?
If you want to create a masterful book that readers love, you need a powerful theme.
I’m guessing you want to be a writer because you have something to say. A theme is your way of getting your message into your reader’s hearts and minds.
Think about the ancient tales that are still told and retold today. Aesop’s Fables and Greek myths, all have themes people can relate to. In more recent years, Dickens’s, A Christmas Carol and C. S. Lewis’s, Narnia. In modern times Star Wars and Harry Potter.
If that’s not enough.
A second reason for developing a theme is to unify your story. A theme acts as a sort of compass to guide you toward creating scenes which resonate with your readers.
It will help you focus on the important and emotionally significant parts of your book. It is the glue that holds everything in your story together
While the plot engages your audience intellectually. Your theme engages your audience emotionally.
If you are at a party and someone asks you what your book is about, You will most likely launch into a mini synopsis of the events in your book.
I’ll let you in on a secret; that is not your theme.
A theme is less about the events in your story and more about the significance. Plot is the events. Theme is the meaning or lesson revealed by your story.
Most of all a theme is crucial to a well written book. Without deeper meaning your story is just a shell with no heart, no soul, no emotional connection to your reader.
Theme is a truth that explains human behavior. Often it will be a moral premise.
For more information see: https://www.novel-writing-help.com/what-is-theme.html
For more information about building a moral premise check out https://www.moralpremise.blogspot.com
To learn more see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme
Your story is a vehicle to explore your deeper message.
A Powerful Theme Adds an Inner Richness
When you first lay out your story, consider what message you would like to share. The theme is the overall life lesson, the moral, of your novel, play, or short story.
It is the struggle your characters face trying to maintain their personal values. Think about what motivates your characters.
Consider your character’s profound yearnings.
You want to create characters with an unquenchable desire to:
- Seek the truth Improve the environment
- Have a family Defend the poor
- Promote a patriotic cause Save the world
- Loyalty and friendship Have compassion
- Protect others Has a spiritual awakening
For more ideas go to:https://www.nownovel.com/blog/choosing-themes-for-stories/
Believe it or not. It is the emotional connections that engages your readers.
Let your characters be motivated by a philosophy you are passionate about. See:7-keys-unlock-emotional-power-of-your-characters Instill your characters with principles. Create a story-line which allows them to hold fast to those values with courage and perseverance.
It is important to understand, the greater the obstacles and the more steadfast your characters, the stronger your theme.
Remember, the most powerful theme will come from your heart.
A Powerful Theme Creates a Memorable Story
Whether you are writing a mystery, fantasy, romance, or science fiction, to create a really memorable story, you need a theme. Something of profound depth and vivid significance to you. A great theme should make your readers ponder your story outside of their desire to find out what is going to happen to your characters.
Your readers will gain insights about their own lives as your characters find answers to their moral dilemmas.
The theme must be a truth about life, love or people based on observations you, the writer, have discovered. As a writer, you want to present a clear examination of human foibles. How your characters overcomes their own weaknesses or the character flaws in others is what will make your message resonate with your reader.
You need a great theme if you want to create a haunting novel. One well remembered and well loved.
Consider a Theme Before You Write.
John and I did not understand the importance of a theme when we first wrote. We had to go back and add a theme to each book.
Needless to say, we always seem to be learning something new about how to write better.
So now before we begin to write, we consider what message we want the reader to gain from our story. We think about the characters and events we have in mind. Then we consider the type of messages we can use the events or characters to emphasize.
We weave the message throughout the story in different ways. The better our theme is incorporated into the story, the more successful it will be.
More on how to do that a bit later in this post.
Ask yourself; Will my message echo in the reader’s memory long after they put my book down?
Does Your Theme Impact the Soul?
For your readers to have an intimate experience with your story, it must press upon their minds and arrest their senses.
Obviously, you want to hook your reader onto your character’s journey.
To accomplish this you want your characters intimately involved with the life lesson we call a theme. As the inhabitants of your fiction evolve, your readers will gain insights about their own lives. When your characters discover answers to their life questions, the reader will join in their own journey of self-discovery.
The key is; your reader must glen some valuable lesson from your character’s struggles.
For additional thoughts see: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/single-best-way-write-powerful-themes/#
Try to create moments of private reflection for both your characters and your readers.
Finding A Theme in Your Finished Story
Here are some tricks.
If you don’t know what your theme is, try writing an essay about the undercurrent in the story.
Explore your novel as a literary work. Ponder what principles your characters have struggled with, what valuable lesson have they learned.
Don’t leave your theme up to chance. Great authors write books that investigate humanity.
Once you have discovered a thematic element, go back and weave it boldly into your story. Use characters, symbols, and vivid images to contribute to your theme. Revise your story with the emotional elements you have discovered.
Take every opportunity to add subtle depth to you book. Some ideas about building your theme are in the following section.
Your story is the vehicle to explore your theme.
6 Steps to Create a More Powerful Theme
We know you’re eager to get started Here are some tips.
Brainstorm ways to expand your message. Weave clues about your theme throughout your story. You don’t want to smack your reader over the head with your theme.
Develop your theme with narrative and images capable of arousing your readers emotionally.
The following are 6 ways to build a memorable theme.
- Using symbols can help connect your reader to your message. Example: A Diamond necklace might represent greed.
- Is there an animal that could emphasize your idea. Example: a grizzly bear could be used for power. A puppy could be used for gentleness.
- Consider all 5 senses (sight, sounds, touch, tastes, and smell) The senses evoke a readers emotions. Use them generously.
- Colors can have an emotional impact on your reader. Example: red can represent anger or passion. Blue may represent peace and calm.
- Choose a setting that will emphasize your theme.
- Even the weather you describe will influence your reader. Example: a dark stormy night might show impending danger.
Convey your theme with dialog or action, not exposition. Your reader does not want to be preached to.
The Importance of a Powerful Theme
Does your story have A theme? Can you identify it? Have you magnified your theme?
Themes are the magic glue that holds your story together. Great themes make unforgettable stories. Do you have a great theme?
It does not have to be planned, but it does have to be enhanced with a delicate touch. As you rewrite your story, don’t forget to look for opportunities to add power to your theme.
Seriously, finding and developing your theme will take time and effort.
The best writers embrace their theme and throw themselves headlong into weaving it throughout their story.
Are you ready to write something meaningful?
Just think how wonderful it will be when people tell you how your book influenced their lives.
If you want to write a story that will cast a lasting spell on your readers, and make them anxious to read your next book, you need a powerful theme.
What kind of theme do you think is most appealing to readers? Do you agree that stories need themes.
Tell us in comments of a way your have weaved your theme into your story.
Drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you.
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John & Patty @writingagreatbook.com 2020