“Theme will not be a universal meaning for all things, but a smaller truth pertaining to the proper way of dealing with a particular situation” – Phillips and Huntley
If you’re struggling to find an idea for your book, the core message is another approach you can use to spark one. Start with a specific experience, learning, or insight you want to share, then decide the best way to convey that. Some questions to consider to find your core message are:
- What do you feel compelled to share with your reader and the world?
- What values and principles are important to you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why do you write books?
- What are you passionate about?
- What challenge/s have you overcome?
- What do you believe is possible for everyone?
Do this before you sit down to write your book as the message ultimately influences the direction of the book through the story or journey.
Message vs Theme
Every book, whether fiction or non-fiction, must have a message in order to successfully deliver the theme.
Sometimes the core message gets confused with the theme. A theme is a universal truth or principal that resonates with all of us – time heals all wounds, love conquers all, good overcomes evil, etc. It guides the change you see in your book. Your message supports the theme, like a sub-theme, and is specific to the characters (fiction) or reader journey (non-fiction).
For example, the theme of the series of books I am currently writing on how to write, edit, and publish books is that words have power. The message is my belief that everyone has some knowledge, story, or life experience to share others can benefit from. This is a common message in most of the non-fiction books I write. It’s just the theme that changes from book to book, thus altering the story and outcome.
Is there a common theme or message you like to use? Share it below.
Cheer to your writing success!