Themes are a writer’s best friend. By choosing various themes, we build not just stories but characters. Everyone has themes that thread throughout their lives. In my newest release, Beauty Submits To Her Beast, book 4 in my Once Upon A Dom Series, my hero, Damon Steele’s main revolving theme is abandonment. His mother abandoned him as a youngster, leaving him a ward of the state. It wasn’t until he was in the military that he found family with his SEAL brothers. But a mission gone bad forces him to abandon his men. He didn’t leave them by choice. He was pulled out to save his life but he can’t forgive himself for surviving when those men who were killed had families forever destroyed because he couldn’t get them out safe. He believes he should have died.
By taking one theme, I was able to build a past and use it to make this a man on the edge of sanity. His conflict is very real and very intense. I took another popular theme, Love Overcomes, and added a strong woman to pair with our wounded war hero. Family is her main theme, and her personality archetype is that of a nurturer/caregiver. This is her main theme as she raised her siblings, cared for her mother and ran the household from a young age. Now that she is on her own, her caring nature determines her future.
Instead of going wild, throwing responsibility to the wind and thinking only of herself, her innate need to care and provide leads her to rescue abandoned (there’s his theme intertwining with hers) and abused horses. Half the men on her ranch are wounded vets she’s also rescued and paired with her horses, healing both man and beast (hey, Beast theme!).
But years of being responsible leave her sometimes wishing she could just give up the tight control that rules her life. She agrees to spend the weekend with Damon as his sub during a three-day BDSM role-play, fairytale event. So we add abandonment, in a different context; abandoning her need to control in order to experience her own sexuality in a way she’s never known. Okay, her best friend told her that at Pleasure Manor, orgasms are handed out like candy at Halloween.
I love finding themes for my stories, both for the characters and overall story plot. I think this book has more themes than the others do in the series, but just from two themes: abandonment and family, I had a good foundation. What other themes are in Beauty Submits To Her Beast? Family, helplessness, threat of loss, change, vanity, Abandonment, self-image, guilt, honor, or lack of, redemption and lack of and everyone is capable of loving and being loved. I’m sure there are more. Most of these just come from themes surrounding the fairytale of Beauty and Her Beast.
What are your favorite themes? Do you use themes in your writing? As a reader, do you like themes? Do you even notice them? I’d love your thoughts on themes.
Beauty Submits to Her Beast Series Name: Once Upon A Dom