Monday, April 23, 2012

T for Theme

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! You can visit the Home Page HERE.

Todays discussion revolves around how to choose a theme for your story. A theme is the subject of your discourse; or what it's about. Sometimes I find, as I did today, it's difficult to decide what I want my theme to be about. But I was recently given an excellent suggestion for deciding on my theme. Today's theme is educational and informative.

Choose your character, the setting, and the point of view while you are deciding. Begin your outline of chapter one. In that first beginning outline, your theme will usually start to solidify in your mind. Is your genre fantasy or sci-fi? Or Romance? Perhaps you want to have a theme of a coming of age story or man against machine. Perhaps it's more or a Western and it's the good guys against the bad guys. Whatever you decide, that is what you need to focus on as you create your story, trying not to get side-tracked as you go.

Remember not to confuse theme with topic, or what your basic plot is. You have a topic: boy meets girl, boy gets girl and then the theme; love and remembrance, or coming of age story.

Your theme can be subtle or loud. But either way, it must be believable. Even if you write way out there fantasy, make sure the reader can shake his/her head in agreement and say, "Yep, that's right!" Make your theme acceptable to the reader and you will have hooked them into your story. Now, pick a theme and write! What are you writing about? What's your theme?

The theme with my picture could be varied. I could choose to write about warring dragons (as my topic) and life and death as my theme. What would you do?


  1. I didn't realize the difference between a theme and a topic.
    Hmmm... let's see if I get this:

    Topic: the White Guardian was raised from an egg, and is fiercely devoted to the people who raised and loved her, thus spending her days bravely protecting them from enemies, which creates centuries of peace for them, an unheard of thing in their world.

    Theme: The strong protecting the weak??

    I'm not sure on the theme part. Still a little fuzzy there.
    This was a fun post!

    1. Rettakat: You got it! What an imaginative story you have going. Hmm, I wonder what will happen next?

  2. I would write about the White Dragon who was on post, guarding the central region of the sacred lands. The White Dragon is diligent in her charge, and when she raises her wings and sounds an alarm the whole kingdom is is on alert. The watchers on the high wall scour the sea line to the east, the land line to the west, and the sky line to the south for enemy forces, so that the battle can be mounted well.

    1. Elizabeth: You have a story going as well. Time to get out the pencil and paper and scribble down some notes so you won't forget!