Archive - Novel Structure RSS Feed

4 Ways to Subtly and Tastefully Present Theme in Your Novel


I find it curious that when I do a Google search for theme in fiction or novels, it’s hard to find blog posts or articles on the topic. I wonder why that is. Theme is such an important element of story, regardless of medium. Even visual arts, such as paintings or sculture, tell a story and often center on some theme.

I feel theme is so crucial to a great story that I chose it as one of the four corner pillars of novel construction. And while some novelists may argue that the genre they write in really doesn’t require themes (suspense/thriller, mystery, for example), for a deeper, richer story, themes are the ticket.

To get to the heart of the themes for your story, ask yourself questions:

  • Why I am passionate about this plot I’ve come up with?
  • What issues speak to my heart or upset me?
  • How can I have my characters embody these opinions or passions?
  • What kinds of conflicts in values, morals, beliefs, and ideas can my characters have that will enhance my premise?

Continue Reading…

Questions to Help You Come Up with Archetypes and Character Arcs

Why would a writer plan to use archetypes when crafting a short story or a novel? Because archetypes bring tremendous purpose and richness to characters—not just to their personalities but to their roles in a story.

In last week’s post I introduced some of the basic archetypes you might consider using. The key to choosing an archetype is in the motivation. Ask: what does this character want or need? What is her goal, and what will she do if she can’t reach it?

The most memorable characters are archetypal. In Jungian psychology, there are seven master archetypes that are or can be personified by Greek gods and goddesses. You might like to take time to research some of this. But if you plan to use archetypes in your story, be sure to go beyond the superficial and stereotype. All of your characters should have unique qualities and personalities that make them memorable. Continue Reading…

Turn the Core Idea of Your Novel into an Image System

On Throwback Thursdays, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive. Today’s post comes from Getting to the Core Idea in your Novel.

As we continue on with exploring cinematic secrets that can supercharge your novel, we’re going to focus on something that is crucial to filmmakers, and that is getting a clear vision for the story.

Novelists, just like filmmakers, need to truly understand the story they are trying to tell and what impact or take-home feeling or message they want to leave with their readers. Just coming up with a neat idea for a novel is only the first step, and is no guarantee they will have a terrific book. Continue Reading…