15.02: Writing Between the Lines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

Victoria Schwab, who also writes as V.E. Schwab, joins us this year, and in this episode she helps us cover that deep concept of “theme,” and how we as authors can state our themes without coming straight out and stating them—writing our themes “between the lines.”

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Take something you’ve completed, but which is still in draft form. Write down three possible themes. Then compare this against what your alpha/beta readers tell you what they think your themes are.

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab

2 thoughts on “15.02: Writing Between the Lines”

  1. Heroes and monsters and villians? No, just a Writing Excuses quartet, with Brandon, Dan, and Howart being joined by Victoria Schwab to talk about listener questions focusing on theme and subtext. From the basic idea of a theme, to when and where theme percolates into a story, along with alternate words (motif, meaning, point, mantras?) and how the message in a commercial may help us understand the theme in a story… the foursome don’t quite get up on a soapbox about themes and revision, but they certainly have a lot of interesting ideas for you to think about. And you can read all about them in the transcript, available now in the archives.

  2. Welcome Victoria! I already read your Darker Shades of Magic based on a recommendation a few seasons back.
    Since your main character is named Kel, but I’m a major Stormlight Archive fan – where there is another Kel – It threw me a bit. :-)

    But I really enjoyed the story. Glad to have you join the team and give a new PoV.

    And yes, when a writer is too heavy handed with their moral or theme it becomes eye rolling.

    Looking forward to the new season.

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