• Writing Your Story's Theme

  • The Writer's Guide to Plotting Stories That Matter (Helping Writers Become Authors)
  • By: K. M. Weiland
  • Narrated by: Sonja Field
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Theme is what your story is really about.

Theme - the mysterious cousin of plot and character. Too often viewed as abstract rather than actionable, theme is frequently misunderstood and left to chance. Some writers even insist theme should not be purposefully implemented. This is unfortunate, because in many ways, theme is story. Theme is the heart, the meaning, the point. Nothing that important should be overlooked.

Powerful themes are never incidental. They emerge from the conjunction of strong plots and resonant character arcs. This means you can learn to plan and implement theme. In doing so, you will deepen your ability to write not only stories that entertain, but also stories that stay with readers long after the end.

Writing Your Story’s Theme will teach you:

  • How to create theme from plot and character.
  • Why every supporting character and subplot should enhance the theme.
  • How to prevent theme from seeming preachy or “on the nose”.
  • What to consider in identifying the best theme for any given story.

And much more!

Conscious mastery of theme will elevate every story you write and allow you to craft fiction of depth and meaning.

Take control of your story via a powerful implementation of theme.

©2020 K. M. Weiland (P)2021 K. M. Weiland

What listeners say about Writing Your Story's Theme

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Worth a second read or listen

I listened to the audiobook (excellent) for my first read. I had not given enough thought to my novel’s theme until Weiland’s treatment of this important element to storytelling. With Weiland’s thorough overview of how theme plays a vital role —it does not have to be unique—I now have new insights into how to filter theme in small ways through mini themes in scenes and character arcs. Theme helps solve the plot v character writing challenge.

I will be re-reading her fascinating section on subtext and symbolism, two ways to deepen your theme. I found her treatment of the truth vs. lie model to theme and character the best I’ve read to date. Identifying the lie a character believes used to present a bit of a challenge for me. Thank you, K. M. Weiland. You cleared that up for me.

Although I’ve written non-fiction for thirty years, I found this book valuable as I work on my first novel. Weiland provides essential understanding in terms of useful principles and approaches to theme, a topic not covered in over a dozen other craft books I’ve studied. I will be ordering the paper copy or ebook because I want to see the lists she provides. The summary of the five main character arcs in her appendix was outstanding and succinct. She has a book on this topic ( creating Character Arcs) but I learned what I wanted at this moment on character arcs from this appendix alone.

I learn best from examples and Weiland givens plenty for why some famous books and films fall flat without well - developed themes. Plot, character, and theme are a “holy trinity” of storytelling. I love threes.  By focusing more on my theme and subtle symbols reflecting it, I feel more confident in how to avoid preaching while each story provides a powerful impact readers will enjoy unpacking.

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Awesome info if you get past the drama.

I thought she went through extreme efforts to make it sound nebulous and elusive but then gave great examples to help understand the principles. I think that because there is a wide array of ways to use theme, that doesnt make it hard to understand. So if you can get past the over dramatization it's a good read.

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  • G
  • 09-12-21

another amazing theory book

a totally indispensable theory book I never knew I needed. perhaps the most original take on storey theory in all of the authors excellent work.

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  • Anne Farrell
  • 09-17-21

Clear and insightful

I love this book! I’m about to begin the second draft of my manuscript and the knowledge K. M. Weiland imparts gave me many ‘Aha!’ moments about how I can materially strengthen my story. The narrator is lovely to listen to and brings all the concepts to life. I listened while driving and have now bought a paperback version too so I can reread it and highlight the key takeaways. Highly recommended.