Podcast

Story Warriors #001: Theme & Those Eight Words

Story Warriors #001:
Theme & Those Eight Words

Has your life ever been impacted by a few words?

Has a sentence or phrase ever become such a force that it defines how you go about your craft?

For me, eight words have been my north star whenever I craft a story. I learned them from a true master who taught me the power of theme in storytelling.

Check it out in the first episode of my weekly podcast, Story Warriors.


Professor John Keats was my MAG 505 professor, the final semester of my senior year. Advanced Magazine Article Writing at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Keats was a successful author and freelance magazine writer who boiled every story down to eight words that have stayed with me for decades. He showed us how to drill down and find theme for everything we wrote, for every story we composed.

Why theme?

Because theme is what takes our storytelling from exciting… to exciting and touching. Theme makes our stories memorable, thought-provoking and riveting.

Theme won’t drive your audiences to stay with you until the end. There are other tools for that, and we’ll cover them in future episodes of Story Warriors.

What theme does, however, is guarantee that your stories have the greatest impact with regard to meaning. Theme will help your story stand out and be remembered for a long time.

Theme provokes the mind, captures the heart and touches the soul.

To discover those eight words, and to learn Keats’ masterful approach to crafting theme, check out the first episode of Story Warriors, the podcast for crafting great stories.