• Katie Wilson Author

A List of Themes to Use in Your Book

A theme is the underlying message or big idea in your story. There are also minor themes that can be in your story as well.


The theme can sometimes follow the wants/needs of the character, it could be the plot that gets realized at the climax, or any conflicts or subplots.


If you follow the Save the Cat Writes a Novel Beat Sheet, Beat 2 is Theme Stated where someone who may or may not be close to your Main Character, tells them the theme of the story, the lesson they're going to learn, their need as a character. The MC won't understand it and will reject it as false- until they learn it on their own at the end of the book.


List of Themes:


Abuse of Power

Acceptance

Anger

Anxiety

Beauty

Change vs Tradition

Circle of life

Coming of Age

Compassion

Conspiracy

Courage & Heroism

Curiosity

Dark and light

Death

Equality

Failure

Faith

Family

Fate vs Free Will

Fear

Freedom

Friendship

Future

Generosity

Good vs Evil

Greed

Growing Up

Hard Work

Hope

Humor

Identity Crisis

Illusion of Power

Immortality

Individual vs Society

Inner vs Outer Self

Joy

Knowledge vs Innocence

Loneliness

Loss

Loss of innocence

Love

Loyalty

Man vs Machine

Man vs Nature

Man vs Society

Peer Pressure

Power & Corruption

Prejudice

Religion

School/Learning

Self-Control

Simplicity

Survival

Taking a Stand

Youth

War

There are a ton more, but I see these most often.

Did any of these spark ideas?

Do any of them repeat in your stories?


I love to use Friendship and Acceptance, with sprinkles of Family, Humor, and Love.


Have fun writing with themes! Don't miss out on the List of Tropes and List of Subplots.

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