Discovering & Embedding Theme

Theme is hidden in the plot of every story. In order to find the theme of your story, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did I write this story?
  • What is important about this story?
  • What am I really trying to say with this story?
  • Why did I pick this story to publish?

If it is challenging to answer these questions it might be helpful to have a list of common themes in stories:

  • Even though you might not realize it at first, family is important
  • Sometimes people aren’t always what they seem
  • Growing up is tough and having support is important
  • Hard things happen in life, how you choose to deal with them is what matters
  • Try not to judge others, you never know what they may be going through
  • Courage can be found in unlikely people and places

Once you’ve figured out the theme, now it is time to give clues about it in your story. But how?

  • Give clues about it in the way your character acts, talks or solves a problem
  • Give clues about it in the resolution of your story
  • Give clues about it in the beginning and middle of your story
  • Try not to state the theme directly