Design perceptive story themes and learn to weave them into your plot and intertwine them with your character design. Learn to articulate not only what themes your story needs, but also the message they send.
Well-grounded themes create cohesion in a story. They help the reader make connections and challenge her beliefs. They also bring out different “flavors” in characters and plots. Two people could write a story about an orphan who leaves her past behind to become a selfless doctor, but each of those stories could have completely different themes that would color a reader or viewer’s experience.
Themes also help you as a writer by giving you direction and focus, helping you winnow out many enticing possibilities so that you can lean into the ones best suited for your thematic goals.
This workshop addresses:
This course includes
Students have course access for 365 days. All worksheets and notes are downloadable.
This workshop includes class notes so you can follow along with the video lectures and a workbook to help you brainstorm and design your story themes.
What People Are Saying
“In general, teaching someone how to write can be very difficult, seeing as how writing is not a set of formulas and steps, but rather an accumulation of skills learned over time. Even so, this course has taught me more about how to incorporate themes into my writing more than any traditional schooling has. I love that Barbara clearly defines what themes are and how they work. She’ll first give you an easily digestible definition, how to incorporate it into your writing, and then gives examples from popular works of fiction. This class never felt boring and I never felt like I was actually being taught; the class felt more like a discussion about themes than a lecture. This was my first class of Barbara’s and I will definitely be taking more. Thank you!”
“Really loving the lessons, each one is so specific and so in-depth, it’s really helping me with planning and fleshing out my story, characters and themes. Thank you”
“Really good class to get thinking about themes in writing – even if you know some of this stuff, it’s helpful to go over it in detail and Barbara does a really good job of explaining some of these concepts.”
“I found this course really useful, as Barbara points a wide range of things one has have in mind when thinking about themes in one’s story.”
“As always, you have given me a lot to think about. I learned a lot in this course, as I have with all of your courses I have taken so far.”
“This was very helpful and it got me thinking and brainstorming more for future stories I plan to write!”
“An excellent, to-the-point discussion of themes and how to infuse it into a story. I found it very useful.”
“Another brilliant lesson. This was most helpful. Thank you Barbara.”
“Very thought-provoking course.”
“Wonderful, useful, helpful!”
“The instructor knows a lot about themes.”
Barbara Vance, PhD
I am a writer and instructor who has been blessed to help thousands of writers bring their stories to life.
My degrees include a B.A. in literature, an MA in Literature and Creative Writing, and a PhD in storytelling and media. Prior to launching my own company, I taught writing and storytelling at a tier-one university.
Over the past sixteen years I have developed a widely acclaimed collection of courses designed to help writers develop their stories, stay on track, and finish what they start . . . even while juggling busy careers and a family.
I am also the author of a multi-award-winning poetry collection, and my poems are licensed for use in anthologies and curricula around the world.