Top Theme Recommendations—A Resource List

by | 6 April 2018 | Writing | 14 comments

My series on theme is almost over, but not until I leave you with one last post. This isn’t at all like my normal posts, more of a resource list, I guess you could call it. Basically, I’ve compiled a list of my personal theme go-tos and haunts.

 

Just a quick recap of my blog series before we begin:

1: What is Theme?
2: Focusing Your Theme
3: Theme In Action – Experiments in Living
4: Character Arcs – Tying Characters and Theme Together

 

Pull on your ninja masks and get ready to stalk all these wonderful theme sources! Or your superhero cape. Whichever fits your jazz. 😉

 

Websites:

 

Kingdom Pen

Kingdom Pen has a huge wealth of theme-related advice, as well as pretty much every other writing advice you could be looking for. You can scroll through all their theme articles for some great tips (seriously, KP is a lifesaver 😛 ). Below is a list of some of my favourite theme posts from them.

 

Why Theme Is The Key To Unlocking Your First Chapter’s Potential

Three Tips For Writing Realistic Character Arcs

Foil Characters: What They Are And How To Use Them

Five Questions To Ask Yourself When Your Story’s Theme Lacks Subtlety

 

Story Embers

Story Embers only started up this week, but I can already tell that it’s going to be amazing. I highly recommend checking them out and stalking them so you can keep up with future epicness. 😉

 

How Explicit Should My Faith Be In My Stories?

 

Helping Writers Become Authors

If Kingdom Pen is a lifesaver, this one is a lightsaber.

Wait what.

Okay, I don’t know how that was related, but this site is so. amazing. K.M. Weiland really knows what she’s talking about, so go onto her site, read all her posts. You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Is This the Single Best Way to Write Powerful Themes?

What Is the Role of Theme in a Story’s Climax?

How Minor Characters Help You Discover Theme

 

Other Websites/Posts:

Audrey Caylin
Theme: 5 Tips For Finding the Right One
– What I Wish I’d Known About Character Arcs

Go Teen Writers
– How To Strengthen The Theme Of Your Book During Edits
– Weaving Theme Into Your Story

 

 

Books:

 

Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

The Christian Imagination by Leland Ryken

Story by Robert McKee

I only own Creating Character Arcs, but I’ve read previews and snippets from the other two and I definitely recommend them. The authors all have so much knowledge and experience we can learn from and apply to our writing. 100% recommend that every writer tries to get their hands on at least one of these books if not all three.

 

 

Other Resources:

 

Theme Mastery Course

This is the most amazing theme resource I have ever found. Not even exaggerating. Before I did this course I didn’t know very much about theme, and this was a huge eye-opener.

Yes, it does cost a fair bit of money, but if you ask me it’s absolutely, 10000% worth every dollar. And plus, you pay once and keep it forever so you can keep checking back every time you need to refresh.

 

Ye Good Old Classics

I did a blog post about why everyone should read the classics, and all of that still stands here. The classic authors were masters of theme and we can learn so much from them. A Tale of Two Cities, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Crime and Punishment—there’s plenty of options, and they will be worth your while.

 

Other Fiction

Read fiction with good themes. Study them. See what a good theme looks like in the genre you’re trying to write. Learn from those who’ve gone before.

It doesn’t just have to be the old classic monsterpieces that we study. There’s still novels being released now that have wonderfully written theme.

Out of Time trilogy – Nadine Brandes
The Wingfeather Saga – Andrew Peterson
The Songkeeper Chronicles – Gillian Bronte Adams
Storming – K.M. Weiland

I’ve read all of these books and can attest that the themes are all masterfully crafted. And the stories are also epicness so it’s a win-win, honestly. 😛

 

 

That’s pretty much all I’ve got (although I could fangirl over each of these books/sites/courses for hours), but as you can see, there’s a heap of good sites and resources out there to help coach us along with our learning.

Let’s hear it for writing strong, deep, and meaningful themes!

 

What’s your go-to place for theme/characters/etc.? What’s the best-themed novel you’ve ever read? Let’s hang out in the comments!

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Adventurer—exploring the endless wonders of God’s beautiful creation. She started writing by accident, but since the very beginning has loved the enchantment of words on paper. If you say anything about pizza, superheroes, books, or any of her many, many fandoms, she’ll come at the double. Aside from crafting worlds using only twenty-six letters, she is a passionate Jesus-lover, freelance editor, self-trained martial artist, songwriter, and musician. In her spare time, she's often off on random adventures in the name of story research. She seeks to inspire her readers to step out and become the heroes of hope this world needs.

14 Comments

  1. J.A.Penrose

    AH YES! All of those are great! Either I have read them, or I have heard a lot about them.
    My go to is theme Mastery/KP in general, or just asking other people. And yesssss, reading is super important as well. *flails over it all*

    I’ve loved your Theme… uh… themed posts, and am sad to see them end.

    BUT THIS WAS A GREAT ENDING SO YAY GO YOU!

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Agh that’s wonderful! I highly approve of your stalking skills. 😛

      Aww thank you so much. It’s really great to know that they were enjoyed and appreciated. 😀

      Reply
  2. Claire Jenn

    I have enjoyed reading this blog series about theme!

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Awh really? I’m so glad!
      Thanks for commenting, Claire. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    OOoOh, awesome list! I’m gonna have fun looking through all these links 😀 (not now though, sadly… I should probably write stuff at some stage for camp nano xP)

    Thanks for putting this list together 😀

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Yay, thanks! I hope it’s useful for you. 😛 (ooh yes, go do the writing things. 😉 )

      You’re welcome. ^-^

      Reply
  4. Sam Kowal

    Reading this has made me think a) I really need to read some of those, and b) today’s theme for my life is going to be pizza. Which basically means I will desire pizza a lot 😉

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      a) Yes, you absolutely do
      b) Go eat pizza, Sam. You know you want to. XD

      Reply
  5. Quinley

    These are awesome sources, Jane!:)
    -Quinley

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      Absolutely! I hope you can find them useful. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Jenna

    Yes, K. M. Weiland’s books and Nadine Brandes’ are AWESOME! I am in agreement that Kingdom Pen is a lifesaver 😉

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      I could just devour every book they ever wrote. Several times. And still love it. 😛 KP is wonderful. *fangirls*

      Reply
  7. Audrey Caylin

    DUDE. O.O You linked my articles! THANK YOU <33

    But YASS this list is amazing. Especially Theme Mastery…I can never review those lessons enough times XD

    Reply
    • Jane Maree

      You’re absolutely welcome. <3 You seriously have an amazing grasp on theme and character arcs. ^-^

      Theme Mastery is ah-maz-ing. *swoons* I check back on it for pretty much every new novel I write. xP

      Reply

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