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Themes and Motifs

Themes and Motifs

Themes are wider subjects of your story. If plot is what happens in the story, the theme is more like what the book is about – a deeper subject that your plot helps to highlight.


Themes can include revenge, oppression, power, ambition, coming-of-age, death, pride, prejudice, etc.


Motifs are repeated elements that emphasise your theme and are symbolic of your wider themes.


For example:

  • If darkness is consuming your character – you could use the weather to highlight this. Have the weather darkening or growing cold around them.

  • If your character is dealing with death, a popular motif for a lost loved one is feathers.

A motif signposts the theme to the reader, subtly and with control. A motif adds emphasis to the idea you are trying to work into your story.




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