Story Writing Themes

story themes

What is the theme of a story?

The theme is the overall message or idea that your story conveys to readers. Some writers include several themes in their work, although many have one main theme that becomes the central focus.

For example, if you were writing a story about a journey through life and experiences, your main theme might be embracing change as it can lead to growth and happiness.

Themes are often open to interpretation from readers , and may evolve over time as ideas grow.

Theme ideas for your story

  • humanity is strong
  • happiness can come from sadness
  • love is power
  • goodness will triumph over evil
  • coming-of-age is an important phase of life
  • find your own path in life
  • pride goes before a fall
  • action have consequences
  • happiness comes from within not material possessions.
  • Dreams
  • Birds
  • Trees
  • Space
  • good vs evil
  • wise fools

If you’re just starting out, don’t stress too much over theme. The most important thing to start out is GETTING WORDS OUT.

Write about something that happened to you or someone you know. Write about how you feel about a pet. Write about learning something or going through a tough experience.

“Moral of the Story” Writing Prompts

You might like to start with a moral of the story prompt, such as:

1. Write about a character who is forced to deal with a difficult situation they never saw coming.

2. Write about a person who discovers a new talent or ability they never knew they had.

3. Write about a character who is in the middle of a conflict when they suddenly realize they’re wrong.

4. Write about a person who is struggling to keep up with their everyday life when they receive a life-changing opportunity.

5. Write about a character who is dealing with a personal loss when they find out something shocking about someone close to them.

6. Write about a person who is confronted with their dark past and has to find the strength to move on.

7. Write about a character who takes a big risk and it pays off in a major way.

8. Write about a person struggling to…

9. Choose one group of animals and watch them. Can you find similarities to humans?

Personal Story Writing Prompts

If you can show learning or growth or some underlying lesson in your story, do!

  1. Write a story about yourself
  2. Write about a time that you made a difficult choice.
  3. Explain an experience that helped you learn something important.
  4. Describe the last argument you had with your best friend.
  5. What is your biggest regret? What are you most proud of?
  6. Write about your favourite childhood memory.
  7. Describe a time when you were on your own and had to rely only on yourself.
  8. Write about the last time you said something that made someone smile.
  9. What is one thing you wish people knew about you

The coming of age story theme

One of the most common themes in literature is coming-of-age, where a character experiences growth in maturity over the course of the story.

For example, the coming-of-age novel Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Juliet changes from a young girl to a mature woman when she is forced to choose between love and family loyalty. The theme of Romeo and Juliet is that two people who are in love may break all the rules of society to be together.

The coming-of-age theme is a popular one because it represents change and growth, both physical and emotional. Themes with this type of character arc also tend to develop over time, symbolizing personal development.

More Resources

Writing prompts for love stories

More story writing prompts

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