As writers we all know that our short stories, prose, poetry or novels must have a central theme. A theme is intangible, but every bit as important as the plots you develop. There can be multiple themes, and many times novels have several, but I suggest that there is still one prevailing theme in every story. Themes should be unspoken but easily recognized. As we talked about series in the “S” post, the theme you choose for your series must also carry over from book to book.
So what do we mean with a “theme?” It does not mean a moral, although some writers sometimes mix up the two. A “theme” could be revenge, survival, love or a combination of any number of things. A moral, unlike a theme, is a message that does not have to be in every story. I believe it is great if an author can “teach” something with a moral message, but I don’t judge a book if I didn’t learn a lesson. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun. However, if the theme gets watered down or lost, the plot usually does as well. Understanding what your “theme” is may keep you on track when you get run-on-of the-keyboard. My last book’s theme was redemption (1st) and reconciliation (2nd) I hope that my readers could easily determine that when reading it. My new WIP’s theme is prejudice, and it takes several forms.
What themes are you currently using, or that have been successful for you in the past?