More great advice from Ramona DeFelice Long.

Ramona DeFelice Long

What is a Thematic Statement?

Robert McKee (STORY) calls it the Controlling Idea.  John Truby (THE ANATOMY OF STORY) calls it the Theme Line.  I call it a Thematic Statement. It is a sentence that takes a broad theme and condenses it to give a particular story a particular meaning.

Theme is the big concept of your story: love, honor, justice, betrayal, loyalty, family, courage, duty.  A Thematic Statement refines the broad idea to address   your Story Question. In doing so,  the Thematic Statement guides your characters in every choice they make and helps you, the writer, by providing a moral framework.

A Thematic Statement explains WHY characters act as they do.


~In the Harry Potter series, a theme is destiny. Harry is given two gifts: the gift of great talent and the gift of life. He’s the boy who lived. But these gifts are also burdens…

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