Category Archives: Theme

Yesterday: Looking Back at the First Act

“Yesterday.” A beautiful, beautiful song that easily applies to our writing process. Confused? Go with me for a minute. It doesn’t matter if we’re a pantser, a plotter, a plotser, a puzzler, or some other mash-up of a writing process … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Motivation, Motivational, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Story Structure, Theme, Writing Craft | 2 Comments

Sneek-A-Peek at The Occupation Thesaurus: FIREFIGHTER

About this book… Characters are as complex as people and revealing their inner layers without chunky blocks of pace-stopping description is a challenge. The Occupation Thesaurus can help you unlock one of the best tools in your show-don’t-tell writing kit: … Continue reading

Posted in About Us, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Cliches, Conflict, Description, Diversity, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus Guide, Point of View, Publishing and Self Publishing, Show Don't Tell, Stereotypes, Story Structure, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 25 Comments

Why All Writers Need A Structural Toolbox

What Is A Structural Toolbox? Put simply, a structural toolbox is the foundation work all writers need to put in to ensure they … understand how structure works can apply structural techniques to their writing Think of it as a … Continue reading

Posted in Characters, Middles, Openings, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Theme, Tools and Resources, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons, Writing Resources | 14 Comments

How Premise Plays into Theme

For many writers, theme is an afterthought–something they may try to figure out once the book is mostly written. But in reality, for a lot of stories, the premise actually promises a theme, or at least, a theme topic. This … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 7 Comments

Digging Deep: The Psychology of a Layered Story

Humans like complexity; puzzles, questions, layers. It fascinates us. My guess it’s because there are so many complex systems in nature that our brain needs to navigate successfully. Ecosystems, weather systems, the tax system…But the one that has the most … Continue reading

Posted in Backstory, Characters, Description, Resident Writing Coach, Revision and Editing, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

How Do You Lead Readers to Your Theme?

A good book, once finished, often leaves you with that feeling of something more. I like to think of it as the book’s essence. It kind of hangs around like a ghost, occasionally prodding you with reminders of the realization … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Theme, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Use Theme to Determine Subplots, Supporting Characters, and Tension

I recently spoke at the Storymakers conference in Utah, and while I was there, I attended a class on theme. Theme is kind of an ethereal topic, difficult to grasp and even harder to apply. But I was blown away … Continue reading

Posted in Plotting, Tension, Theme, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Deepening Our Story: Theme It Like You Mean It

Our story’s themes—our messages to readers of what to value or believe—can add depth and meaning to our writing, but to avoid being too on-the-nose, our themes are usually developed in the story’s subtext. Unfortunately, working in subtext means we … Continue reading

Posted in Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 29 Comments

Theme Made Simple

Let’s talk about theme, shall we? No, don’t run away. I know it can be hard to understand and even harder to do well, but theme plays such a huge part in writing a story that resonates with readers. Luckily, Daeus … Continue reading

Posted in Reader Interest, Theme, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | 11 Comments

How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel

Many people are familiar with subplots. They are those side stories that give a novel’s plot depth. A subplot may involve the main character or minor characters, but they enrich the story if done well. Subplots are everywhere. We see … Continue reading

Posted in Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Subtext, Theme, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments