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Examples Of Themes

cartoon owl reading a book illustrating an article which gives examples of themeBefore you look at the examples of themes below it may help you to think a little bit more about what theme is and how it affects our stories.

A story without a theme is little more than a list of events. The events themselves may be very interesting, or exciting, but without the universal human connection they will not engage our attention in any real way.

THEME APPEAL

Not only must it appeal to the reader, it must also appeal to you. You must want to, or even need to explore that particular theme for you to keep writing.

Many people tend to confuse the theme of a story with the plot. So I have written a post about this to help you. To learn about the difference between theme and plot click here.

THE PULSE OF THE STORY

Theme is the pulse of the story and if you choose correctly you will feel compelled (in a good way) to complete your story.

If your theme is not compelling to you, it will certainly not be compelling to your readers and you may produce limp, dead writing.

So think very carefully, not just about your themes but about how you intend exploring them.

EXAMPLES OF THEMES

  • Alienation – The effects of, the loneliness of, to cure it.
  • Ambition – getting what you want, stunted by, thwarted.
  • Betrayal – the pain of, in love and friendship.
  • Coming of age  – loss of innocence.
  • Courage – courage to deal with conflict, lack of, developing, conquering with.
  • Deception  – how to deceive, results of.
  • Discovery – what does it take to discover new places, inner meaning, strength, even treasure.
  • Escape – from life, routine, prison, family pressures.
  • Death – how to escape, what happens after, consequences of.
  • Fear – driven by, dealing with, conquering.
  • Freedom – loss of, gaining, handling, fight for.
  • Good versus evil – survival of one despite the other, triumph of one over the other.
  • Isolation – physical and emotional.
  • Jealousy – trouble caused by, denial of, driven by.
  • Justice – the fight for, injustice, truth versus justice.
  • Loss – of life, innocence, love, friends, to avoid.
  • Loneliness – no man is an island, or hell is other people.
  • Love – love fades, is blind, can overcome all obstacles, can
  • Lust – for power, for sex.
  • Power – the search for, the loss of, what we are willing to exchange for.
  • Prejudice – racism, bigotry, snobbery, dealing with.
  • Security – the loss of, the finding of the need for, how we act when security is shattered.
  • Spirituality and God – the struggle to find faith, live without faith etc.
  • Survival – man versus nature

  CHOOSING YOUR STORY THEME

Give a lot of thought to choosing your story theme. Remember you will need to be obsessed with your chosen theme to keep writing about it for long periods of time.

Being aware of your themes can help you sell your books. If you would like some help choosing a theme click here.

CHOOSING YOUR APPROACH

We all approach our writing ideas differently. My own methods vary from time to time. Sometimes I decide I want to write about a particular theme and then find the story.

At other times I find the story first and the themes become apparent through the process of writing.

bridge into park illustrating an article which gives examples of theme.Whatever your approach, it is well worth putting some thought into it before you commit yourself to the hard work of writing out the story.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION

Undertaking this initial preparation will save you from having to put too many of those unfinished stories in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.

I personally put a great deal of thought into my themes and there are some themes, like betrayal, bullying, survival and loneliness, that resonate with me particularly.

I have explored those several times both in non-fiction and fiction. To learn more about choosing your story theme click here.

BULLYING, JEALOUSY AND ISOLATION

You can see how I worked with the theme of bullying, jealousy and isolation in my children’s story ‘The Tree Hugger.’

I really hope these examples of themes help you. All the information throughout the site is free of charge. All I ask is that you please ‘like’ or ‘share’ this page, or even say hello in the comments box below.

If you have any questions or comments please use the comments box below and I will be happy to help.

Best of luck with your writing.

Grace

copyscape symbol in an article which gives examples of theme

 

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41 Responses to Examples Of Themes

  1. Christopher Grow July 29, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    Hey Grace,
    For the longest time I’ve wanted to put my ideas to paper and write a fantasy novel and thanks to your website I think I finally have the tools and confidence to do it, thank you.

    • Grace July 29, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Hi Christopher, I am so glad to hear that and I hope it goes well for you – keep at it
      Grace

    • Elizabeth January 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

      Me too! I have written many books and I have been having writers block . Thanks to this website I am able to continue!

  2. - October 28, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Hey, I was looking for a list of themes to help give me motivation and creative guidance to make a school essay which is very important to me. I greatly appreciate this page and hope more people find it and I’m sure you yourself are a wonderful writer! Best wishes for the future! x 🙂

    • Grace October 28, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      Hi I am so glad it helped you and I wish you all the best with your school essay and the rest of your school work.
      Keep in touch,
      Grace

  3. Brooke Miall November 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    hey grace,
    This was a very helpful page and I am so thankful for it. I have to write an essay for school soon and this website is really helping me out with my study. I hope more people will find this page in the future because it is so helpful.
    Thank you.

    • Grace November 4, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Hi Brooke I am glad it helped you with your essay and best of luck with your studies.
      Grace

  4. Krishna November 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    How does your overall story goal affect your characters? What I mean to say is, if my overall goal is isolation, my character obviously wants to change this, by running away from it, etc. How does this originate? From the start of the book to the end, what makes the reader believe my character’s goal is this, and how is it shown? Is it shown subtly throughout the book? Is it spoken? (Question overload, sorry.) Lastly, what leads up to this goal being achieved? As in, what kind of inciting incidents that more or less throw the book forwards into action and new experiences. What makes this character’s thoughts consciously or no, become a reality when blah, blah, blah.. happens. (Once again, so sorry this is about a mile long. Just a question I’ve been wondering about for a long time. No one else has been able to answer this plainly enough for me to understand and/or put into action myself. )

    • Grace November 25, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      Hi Krishna,
      I am not sure I am clear what your question is. Are you perhaps confusing story goal with character goal? Your goal as a writer may be to write a story about a man who wants to become President but who fails at this and instead decides to become an actor. Your characters goal might be to become president but your story goal takes him away from his goal to where you as the writer decide he should go.
      Sometimes writers can over think – maybe you should write your story and see where it takes you?
      Best of luck with your work.

  5. Jean January 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    Grace,
    This website helped me with my short story theme for English. Thanks!
    -Jean

    • Grace January 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      You are welcome.
      Grace

  6. Luke January 21, 2015 at 2:08 am #

    Thx this really helped with my homework

  7. Aqua May 11, 2015 at 3:29 am #

    I’m so grateful to have found this page. Not many others were this helpful, this page was just what I needed. Thank you so much

    • Grace May 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      So glad it helped.
      Best wishes
      Grace

  8. rosa June 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    Hey thanks for creating this website it helps me a alot when iam doing an essay. Thanks ☺

    • Grace June 29, 2015 at 10:36 am #

      Hi Rosa,
      Thanks for commenting. Best of luck with your essays.
      Grace

  9. Mikayla Tucker July 14, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    Dear grace,
    Before reading this page on theme i was dumbstruck, i had no idea what any of it meant. now that i have read this i completely understand !!! thank you so much !!!!!

    Mikayla

    • Grace August 26, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      Glad it helped.
      Best wishes
      Grace

  10. Hunter Sydenham August 26, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    This page really helped my with my English essay’s .
    Thanks a ton!
    -Hunter

    • Grace August 26, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      Glad to hear it Hunter – good luck with your work.
      Grace

  11. jessica October 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Thank you very much grace this helped me alot.

  12. Caleb October 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    I could not think of an idea to do my L.A. short story about and when i decided to check out this website i thought of everything i could do! Thank you Grace, you helped me think of a good story to use and great themes/story plot for my assignment. I can’t thank you enough.

    • Grace October 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Caleb, I am so pleased to hear this. It’s amazing how ideas can be triggered in so many different ways. I hope you will come back and let me know how you get on with your story.
      Best wishes
      Grace

  13. Abigail November 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    Thank you for helping me with my homework your website is the best.🙂 👍🏼

  14. Joseph odeh December 19, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Tanks for the tips. Its a great thing people like you are out there. Keep it up. Joe

    • Grace December 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Joseph – glad the tips help.
      Best wishes
      Grace

  15. Maddie December 22, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    Ditto. This really helped me with my creative writing class. I can already see myself improving in writing! Grace, you are the best.

    ~Maven

    • Grace December 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

      Lovely to hear from you, Maddie -keep writing.

  16. Lynn January 14, 2016 at 3:40 am #

    this really help me for my critics letter essay thank you!

  17. Amelia Carter January 14, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    what is the theme of the song 50 ways to say goodbye? i need this but i can’t figure it out. i thought it was like loss of love or something because of a breakup but i dont know. can someone help me?

  18. Nicki Boyd February 7, 2016 at 1:32 am #

    Hi Amelia!

    I believe the theme of that song is freedom…setting yourself free.

    ~Nicki

  19. Nicole September 20, 2016 at 1:20 am #

    Your list of themes really helped me. All I needed was a small push. Thanks.

    • Grace September 27, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

      Great to hear – keep going now!
      Grace

  20. Alyssa September 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Thank you! I have to write a speech and often find it hard to think of an overall theme on my own.

    • Grace September 27, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

      You are very welcome – best of luck with your speech.
      Grace

  21. Hiromi Gonzaga November 21, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Thank you Ms.Grace,

    I’m actually making a writing assignment for my teacher. This gives me a lead to my creative writing.

    ~Hiromi G.

    • Grace November 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

      HI Hiromi
      Glad to hear this helped and the very best of luck with your creative writing assignment.
      Best wishes
      Grace

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