Book review: Writing Your Story’s Theme, by K.M. Weiland


K.M. Weiland has helped you to outline your novel, structure your novel, and create your character arcs. Now, she completes the “holy trinity” of craft with Writing Your Story’s Theme.

What is theme and how can you identify it in your story? How does theme relate to story structure (plot) and character arc? Why should every character and subplot reflect or enhance your theme? How can theme help you to outline your novel? How is theme related to but distinct from message and how can you keep your theme from reading as too preachy or on-the-nose?

As with all of Weiland’s craft books, Writing Your Story’s Theme is meticulously researched and full of insights the author gained through her own writing practice. There are additional resources to help you dig deeper into the topic in the appendices at the end.

If you’re a fan of Weiland’s craft books, you need to pick this one up. If this is your first of Weiland’s writing books, it will leave you wanting to complete your library (and you should—they’re that good). Weiland’s writing advice is accessible and consistent with her blog, podcast, and other craft books. If the pattern holds, Weiland will likely have a workbook coming in the next year.

I always have “lightbulb” moments when I read one of Weiland’s craft books and Writing Your Story’s Theme was no exception.

My highest recommendation.