The Ultimate List of Story Themes for Writers
Plot themes are organized by category and suggest you interesting questions to consider
Arrogance and Pride
Can you be arrogant if you are really the best at what you do?
Is there anything that justifies arrogance?
Should you be falsely modest to avoid arrogance?
Can we be proud without being arrogant?
What is the difference between pride and arrogance
What is art?
Is art useful or useless?
What is the place of art in society?
What is the value of art versus something else for society?
Can attachment be positive?
Does positive attachment justify the pain of losing a loved one?
Can attachment be let go off?
Does love mean attachment?
How does it feel to be attached to a loved one?
Is attachment the cause of suffering?
What does it mean to be autonomous?
Is is better to be autonomous in the mind or in the physical realm?
What is worth sacrificing to be autonomous?
Is autonomy ever wise to give away?
Is beauty internal or external?
Is beauty a concept or something instrinsic?
Does beauty ever fade?
Can beauty be sold or just enjoyed?
Becoming Part of the Elite
What does it take to be part of the best?
How to collaborate with experts?
How to overcome ego to get ot the top of competency?
What needs to be sacrified to be part of the elite?
What is the role of the elite towards society?
What is expected from the elite?
What kid of resources does the elite have access that the rest does not?,
What do you believe in?
Can beliefs go too far?
When should beliefs be questioned?
Can reality prove beliefs wrong?
How can beliefs be compared?
Are some beliefs more worthy than others?
What are the reasons for betrayal?
Is betrayal ever justified?
Should betrayal be justified?
Can betrayal be forgiven?
Can betrayal be justified by noble intent?
What should be celebrated?
How can we celebrate something?
Do we celebrate alone or with other people?
Can celebration go too far?
Is there a bad time to celebrate?
Is change always a good thing?
When should change be encouraged?
Can change go too far?
When should change be fought?
Change of Power
When is a change of power required?
What is the correct way to change power?
Does a need to change power justify violence?
Who is abilitated to change power?
Should the people decide on a change of power?
What is the role of the military in a change of power?
Change versus Tradition
When should traditions be upheld?
What is the value of change against proven traditions?
Can traditions always remain the same or they need to be adapted?
When does change become tradition?
Chaos and Order
Is violence justified to uphold order?
Is chaos always a bad thing?
Are chaos and order a necessary cycle?
What are the positive sides of chaos?
Circle of Life
What is the circle of life?
Can the circle of life
predation and death be broken?
Is nature cruel?
Does a life need to end for another to survive?
Coming of Age
What is involved in coming of age?
Does coming of age requires a ritual or a challenge?
What is gained through coming of age?
Is anything lost by becoming an adult?
What is common sense?
Is common sense ever wrong?
What is the place of common sense in society?
Can common sense blind us from progress?
Can everything be communicated?
How to communicate in an efficient way?
Can too much be communicated?
What does communication require?
What can block communication?
What is the value of companionship?
What does companionship bring?
How to find companionship?
What makes a good companion?
What is a conspiracy?
What kind of conspiracies are there?
Can a conspiracy be done for the good of society?
How to fight conspiracies?
How to discover conspiracies?
How to protect ourselves from conspiracies?
What does it mean to be brave?
What separates bravery from foolish daring?
Can courage be misplaced?
How can brave people be exploited?
What is the relationship between creation and destruction?
What is the value of creation?
Where does creation come from?
What is worth creating?
Why do people commit crimes?
What is a crime?
Are criminals different than normal people?
Is crime sometimes justified?
Is there life after death?
What is involved in dying?
Is it possible to know what is after death?
Does death bring anything to life?
What is worth our dedication?
Are there any limit to dedication?
Can everything be sacrified for our dedication?
Can we be too dedicated?
What makes democracy a good system?
Does democracy work?
Is democracy exploited by smart people to enslave others?
Is there something better than democracy?
How to cope with despair?
What does despair teach us?
How can we heal despair?
Is despair impossible to avoid?
Which illusions can be broken?
Is disillusionment bad or good?
What does it mean to lose our illusions?
Is being realistic better than having positive illusions?
What kind of dreams can we have?
Do dreams serve us or hinder us?
Should we follow our dreams?
Do our dreams tell us something about ourselves?
What does empowerment mean?
What can we gain power over?
Do we have inner power or power over our lives?
How can we empower people?
How to escape?
What can help us in our escape?
Who can we trust?
Is escape worth the risk?
Can love last for a lifetime?
Can love be extinguished?
How can we find everlasting love?
What are the conditions for love to last forever?
What does it take to face evil?
Who can face evil?
Is there a sacrifice required to face evil?
Can evil be faced without consequences?
Does it take violence or something else to face evil?
What does it mean to face reality?
Who can face reality?
What prevents us to face reality?
Do we have any idea separating us from reality?
How to deal with failure?
What does it mean to fail?
Does failure say something aobut ourselves?
Can we overcome failure?
Is failure definitive?
Does failure make us grow?
What can we have faith in?
Does faith require sacrifice from us?
Can true faith waver?
What does faith demand from us?
Does faith require us to fight others for it?
What is the value of family?
What does family expect from us?
What does family provide us with?
Does family require sacrifice from us?
Does fate exist?
Do we each have a fate?
Can we avoid our fate?
Can we make our own fate?
What is our fate in life?
What does it mean to be a father?
Does it change anything to our lives to become a father?
How does it change the man to become a father?
Does fatherhood bring any character traits?
How can we face our fears?
How can we deal with our fears?
Are all fears bad?
What does fear bring us?
Can fear make us grow?
Should we defeat all fears?
Is equality or feminism the goal?
What do women need?
What should the relationships between men and women be?
What are the values we should all adopt?
How can we bring equality?
Should we do positive discrimination to advance the feminist cause?
Do we have free will?
Can we influence our fate?
Where does free will come from?
What does free will give us?
What is the meaning of freedom?
Is freedom internal or external?
Do we need to fight for freedom?
What should we be free from?
What do friends bring us?
What is the value of friendship?
Does friendship naturally?
What makes good friendship?
What is fulfilling?
How can we pursue fulfilment?
What does it mean to be fulfilled?
Is fulfilment coming from things or something deeper?
What does the future have in store for us?
How can we ensure a good future for us?
Should we sacrifice things in the present for a good future?
Is the future going to be better than now?
Should we be afraid of the future?
What is glory?
How can we pursue glory and make a name for ourselves?
Is glory the same for everybody or people have different definitions of it?
Does the pursuit of glory justify sacrifices?
Is glory worth pursuing?
Is glory just a good term for ego gratification?
Does God exist?
Is God good or evil?
Does God demand things from us?
What is the purpose of God?
Good versus Evil
What is good and evil?
Can one exist without the other?
Where does evil come from?
Do we have both good and evil inside of us?
What makes us choose good or evil?
Can good triumph over evil definitively?
Are they just a different perspective of the world?,
What is the role of the government?
Who should be in charge of the government?
What can the government do for the people?
Which type of government is the best?
Is the governemtn good or evil?
Does the government benefit or enslave the people?
Is government corrupt?,
Is greed ever good?
What are the effects of greed?
What does greed bring into the world?
What does balance greed?
Is growing up difficult?
Do we lose something by growing up?
Is growing up automatic or does it require effort?
What is growing up about?
What makes us happy?
Does happiness look the same for everybody?
Do we need to chase happiness or does it come automatically?
Can our happiness be chalenged?
Where does hate come from?
Is hate ever justified?
Does hate show us something wrong inside of us?
Is hate the opposite of love?
What can heal hate?
What does having children entail?
Does having children change us?
Is everybody ready to have children?
Is it always a good idea?
Are we all meant to have children?
Does having children change us?
What breaks our heart?
How do we heal heartbreak?
What does heartbreak teach us?
What is the link between heartbreak and attachment?
What can be considered as heroic?
Should heroism be exhalted?
What makes a hero?
Can anybody be a hero?
Does heroism come from destiny or from personal effort?
How are hierarchies organized?
What makes a good hierarchy?
Why some hierarchies fail?
Who is put at the top of a hierarchy?
Are there several types of hierarchies?
What is honor?
Do we each have a certain honor that needs to be guarded?
Is honor something individual or at the level of society?
Can defending honor jsutify cruelty?
Is honor just a positive way to disguise ego and pride?
What can give us hope?
Is false hope a good thing?
Can we ever be too hopeful?
What does hope bring to life?
What is the effect of hope on our actions?
What does it mean to be human?
Can we go against our nature?
Is there such a thing as human nature?
Can human nature be fought?
Should human nature be encouraged or fought against?
What makes us who we are?
Are we the product of our environment?
Can we create who we are?
What makes our identity?
Is our identity tied to our family and culture?
Can our idnetity be destroyed?
What is the value of our identity?,
What is our ideology?
Are our ideas set in stone?
When do ideas become an ideology?
What is the difference between ideology and a dogma?
How can we protect ourselves against ignorance?
Do we know when we are ignorant?
What does it mean to live in ignorance?
Is ignorance of certain life realities bliss?
Is ignorance better than knowledge?
What would happen if we were immortal?
How would we live our lives?
Can we achieve immortality?
What would be necessary sacrifices to attain immortality?
Would the price of immortality be too high?
What makes us an individual?
Is society threatening our individuality?
Do we need to protect it?
What is the relationship between my individuality and yours?
Should we sacrifice our individuality for the group?
Can society destroy our individuality?
Is it worth pursuing if it antagonizes us from our family?,
How to treat injustice?
Can we make our own injustice?
Does it warrant revenge?
Should we accept some part of injustice?
How can we deal with the fundamental injustices between people in life?
How can we attain it?
What does inner peace mean?
Is it something that everybody can achieve or is it reserved to a small elite?
What can we do if we do not have it?
Is it a permanent state or something that is volatile?
Are we all innocent when we are children?
Do we lose our innocence as we age?
Can a lost innocence ever be recovered?
What can we do to protect people against the loss of their innocence?
What is the value of innocence?
Is innocence what allows us to be vulnerable?
How does it feel to be isolated?
Does isolation mean protection from harm?
Is it something that is sometimes desirable?
What do we achieve when we are isolated from the outside world?
Can we be not isolated enough?
What are the psychological effects of isolation?
How does jealousy feel like?
What are the effects of jealousy?
Is jealousy something that pushes towards achievement?
Can jealousy push us towards evil?
Does attachment lead to jealousy?
Who has the right to bring justice?
Is vilified revenge th same as justice?
Can justice go too far?
Who can decide what is just and what is not?
Is it men or a spiritual power who can decide what is justice?
Can we be kind towards our enemies?
Can we be too kind?
Are there situations where kindness is not advised?
Does kindness lead us to being exploited?
Is kindness something to be encouraged or is it something that makes us vulnerable to evil?
What is the price of knoweldge?
Do we ever know too much?
Are there certain parts of knowledge that should be kept secret?
Is there some knowledge that is dangerous?
Can it harm somebody who possesses a certain knowledge?
Can we ever forget what we should not know?
Is knowledge better than ignorance?,
Is it the law of men or the law of gods?
Who can replace the law?
Is law a corrupted system?
How can we guard law against its own weaknesses?
Does everybody has the right to practice law?
What is the place of law in society?
What is the relationship between law and justice?
What should we do when the law is unjust
What does it take to lead men?
What are the qualities of a good leader?
Who has the right to lead society?
How should leaders be treated?
Is leadership something that brings us advantages or is it a sacrifice for the common good?
Are the qualities the same between a woman and a man who are good leaders?
Does leadership justify perpetrating crimes for the common good?
Who in sociecty decides who is abilitated to lead?
What remains of our life after we die?
What do people want to leave as legacy?
What is the value of our legacy to our children?
Is legacy something we leave to our family or something we leave for society?
Is it something we need to fight for?
Who gives us liberty?
Is democracy the only system that gives lbierty to its citizen?
Can we have too much liberty?
Is liberty causing anxiety in people?
Can an oppressive system be better than liberty?
What is the meaning of life?
Is there something such as a good life?
What can make our life meaningful?
Does death bring value to life?
Can we have eternal life?
What does it feel like to give life?
What is the value of logic in society?
When logic goes agaisnt our intuition
which one should we follow?
Is logic more or less important than feelings?
Can logic protect us from meaninglessness?
Is there something more true than logic?
How does it feel to be lonely?
Can loneliness be cured by being around other people?
Does loneliness makes us stronger?
Why are we sometimes feeling lonely in the company of others?
How can we cure loneliness?
Can we help other people out of their loneliness or is it something they need to address on their own?
What can be lost?
Can what was lost be recovered or recreated?
What is gained when we lose something?
Is loss teaching us something?
Can loyalty be misplaced?
Who deserves our loyalty?
If our loyalty is misplaced
does it jsutify breaking it?
Does disloyalty need to be punished?
How does it feel when somebody betrays our loyalty?
Is slef-respect more important than loyalty?
What makes us lucky?
Can we make our own luck?
Does gratitude bring luck?
Does being a "good" person make us lucky?
Man versus Machine
How does it feel like to fight our own creation?
Can human progress go too far and create conflict with our own creations?
What would be the opinion of an artifical intelligence about humanity?
What would be the objectives of an autonomous artifical intelligence?
Man versus Nature
Can we ever dominate nature?
Does nature punish us when we disrespect it?
Is our comfort more important than harmony with nature?
Is it humans or nature that is stronger?
Is manipulation ever justified?
How does it feel like to be manipulated?
What can be gained through manipulation?
Does protecting the innocent justify manipulation?
Is it right to manipulate evil people?
Can the result of manipulation be peace and happiness?
What is the reason of existing for mankind?
Do we have a purpose as a species?
Were we created or are we the product of random events?
Do we have a fate to accomplish?
What is our status in the universe?
What is the purpose of a single individual with regard to mankind?
Masculine versus Feminine
What is the relationship of masculine versus femine?
Is one principle more important than the other?
Can they work together or are they destined to be forever in conflict?
Who has the responsibility for balance?
Does an imbalance justify revenge or getting even?
What is the behavior of materialistic people?
Why are so many people focused on their materialistic needs?
What is more important than materialism?
Are there situations where being materialistic is good?
When do we have too much?
Is materialism the same as greed?
What does it mean to be mature?
Is it something we develop automatically as we get older or does it require work?
Can we be mature too quickly?
Does maturity automatically involve a loss of innocence?
Can we teach maturity to people or is it something that requires experience?
What is the difference between maturity and common sense?
Is maturity the same as wisdom?,
What is the true meaning of mercy?
Can we be too merciful?
Is mercy something respected or exploited by society?
Should we expect mercy from others?
What is the importance of money?
Can money make us happy?
What are the uses for money?
What are things more important than money?
How much sacrifice should be made to earn money?
What defines what is right and wrong?
What is immoral?
Is morality fixed?
Is it the same in every culture and across time?
Who can define what is moral and what is not?
Can something be immoral if it does not hurt anybody?
Is morality the same as ethics?,
Is it something special to be a mother?
What is the role of a mother in society?
Does having children change a woman?
Is having children a creative act?
Is it the same experience to be a mother or a father after birth?
Does being a mother bring specific character traits?
What is the role of nationalism?
Does nationalism still have a reason of being in a modern interconnected world?
Does nationalism always lead to xenophobia and isolationism?
Is nationalism correlated with ignorance?
What are the principles of nature?
What can nature teach us?
Is nature our friend or our enemy?
Does nature care about mankind?
Do humans intrinsically follow nature's principles?
Does necessity push us towards greatness?
Are we ready to do anything our of necessity?
Can necessity justify crime?
Do successful people become successful out of necessity?
Does necessity bring innovation?
How does it feel to be neglected?
Is neglect transmitted to our offspring?
Can neglect be a positive thing?
What are the effects of emotional neglect?
Why do we have nightmares?
Are nightmares useful?
What is the link between nightmares and our subconscious?
What makes us have nightmares or plesant dreams?
What is normal behavior?
What should we do with anormal behavior?
Is there a greater value in being normal or exceptional in a positive way?
Is the respect of normality a positive thing for society?
What defines an opportunity?
Does opportunity always go hand in hand with risk?
Is it better to maximize opportunity or limit risk?
When should an opportunity not be followed?
Why do people want to oppress others?
What are the means used by oppression?
Is it possible to fight oppression?
Is oppression impossible to avoid?
Is it better to be pessimistic or optimistic?
Is optimism just lying to ourselves?
Can we be too optimistic?
How to balance optimism with realism?
Can people take advantage of our optimism?
What does overcoming adversity teach us?
Is everybody facing adversity?
What is the best mental state to overcome adversity?
As a group
what do we get from overcoming adversity?
Pain and Suffering
What is th meaning of pain and suffering?
Can we avoid pain?
What is the difference between pain and suffering?
Can we learn to cope with pain?
What can suffering teach us?
Is suffering an unavoidable part of life?
Why do we judge others?
What do we gain by judging others?
Are we judging for fear of being judged?
Are we projecting our insecurities on others and then judge them?
What is a source of passion in life?
Can one passion replace another?
Are the same things a source of passion for everybody?
Do we need only one passion in life or can we have many?
Can we be passionate about life itself?
Does passion need an object to exist?
Why do we need patience in life?
Why are many people impatient?
How can we learn patience?
Do we need patience for success?
What does it mean to be a patriot?
Is patriotism something to be encouraged or fought against?
How can we be a good patriot?
Does patriotism lead to hate for other countries?
How can we create peace in the world?
Is peace always desirable?
why do people sometimes prefer war to peace?
Who can enforce peace?
Is it justified to use violence to maintain peace?
What makes perserverance useful in achieving our goals?
Is perserving difficult for everybody?
How can we teach perseverance?
When does persevering through failure becomes stubbornness?
What makes people develop prejudice?
Is the tendency to have prejudice biological or not?
Are positive prejudices a good thing?
Are all prejudice necessarily bad?
Does pride lead to our downfall?
What are the dangers of pride?
Is pride always negative?
What are the side effects of pride?
Can Humanity progress?
What is progress?
Is progress always desirable?
Should progress be limited?
Is progress a matter of thinking and the physical world or the spiritual one?
What do we need to progress?
What can give us purpose?
What odes it mean to have a purpose?
Does having a purpose make us better people?
Can having a purpose be negative?
What is the relationship between having a purpose and accepting the World as it is?
Quest for Perfection
Is perfection subjective?
What makes something perfect?
Is the quest for perfection a meaningful goal?
Is perfection in the object itself or the ezes of the beholder?
Quest for Power
How can we gain power?
Do we need power over ourselves to have power in the World?
How should we deal with opponents on the path of power?
Is power worth seeking?
Does the end justify the means?
Is power a birthright or something competitive?
What should have power between: military
spiritual or money?,
Quest for Self
What is our true self?
Are we our thoughts?
Does society corrupt us in any way?
Do we need a teacher to learn to be ourself?
Who can teach us to be ourself?
Is there such a thing as true self at the level of society?
Can society learn to be more like itself in the same way individuals can?,
What is xenophobia?
What makes people racist?
How can we fight racism?
Is everybody partly xenophobic?
What is reality?
Are we all living in a simulation?
Are we all living in the same reality or in different ones?
What is the definition of reality when virtual is just as realistic?
What makes rebelling against worth it?
What justifies a rebellion?
Should rebellions be non-violent to be fair?
Can rebellions ever be peaceful?
How should you treat your oppressors?
How should you deal with rebellion?
What is an appropriate response to civil unrest?,
How can you rebirht yourself?
Is rebirth possible?
Does a rebirth always a complete death of the old?
Can society rebirth itself?
Do we deserve redemption?
How can we gain redemption?
Can redemption be complete?
Who can give redemption?
Is redemption something personal or does it come from the outside?
How should we deal with regret?
Does time heal regret?
What can we do to overcome regret?
Can we ever completely overcome regret?
Who is allowed to create a religion?
Should religion be enforced?
What is the social value of religion?
Should religion be enforced?
Should religion deal with morale?
How can we reunite after we parted for a long time?
What happens after a reunion if we changed too much?
Can we reunite permanently?
Is reunion of the Heart sufficient?
Is revenge ever justified?
How should we get revenge?
Does getting revenge ever make us feel better?
Can revenge be positive?
Is revenge necessary to prevent future injustice?
When should the People revolt?
Can revolution be avoided by trying a different way?
How to stabilize a revolution after victory has been achieved?
Can dialogue prevent a revolution?
Role of Men
What is the role of men in society?
Should men do the same tasks as women or should tasks be specialised?
Are men better at some things than women are?
Should men work with women or fight for their rights?
Role of Women
What is the role of women in society?
Should women do the same tasks as men or should tasks be specialised?
Are women better at some things than men are?
Should women work with men or fight for their rights?
Is sanity of the average person true?
What does it mean to be sane?
Is there a point in intelligence or spiritual achievement where the average person considers you insane?
Does sanity exist or is everybody partly insane?
What requires secrecy?
What are the consequences of broken secrecy?
Who should be responsible for secrets?
Can keeping harmful secrets harm others?
What make people want to segregate each other?
Should people always be together or should boundaries be set?
How can we fight segregation?
Does segregation teach us something?
Can we cultivate self-awareness or is it inborn?
How can we develop self-awareness?
Can others help us become more self-aware?
Is self-awareness constant or does it fluctuate?
How can we identify our blind spots?
Can everybody be self-disciplined?
How can we cultivate self-discipline?
What does self-discipline bring us?
Do we need somebody to teach us to be self-disciplined or do we learn it on our own?
Does self-preservation justify evil deeds?
Is self-preservation always desirable or should it sometimes be sacrified for something more valuable?
How can we protect ourselves?
Is self-preservation an individual task or the responsibility of society?
Is self-reliance something mental or physical?
Can we be totally self-reliant?
Who can be self-reliant?
Should society encourage self-reliance?
How can we show character?
Is showing character always respected or rewarded?
Is showing character done to achieve something else?
How to encourage people to show character?
What is a simple life?
Is simplicity always a sign of elegance?
How to achieve a simple life?
When should things be complex and when should they be simple?
How can poor people become successful?
What can we do to encourage social mobility?
Should social mobility always be encouraged?
Does social mobility generate civil unrest?
What is society?
Who is leading society?
What is the responsibility of society?
How can we change society?
Do we always feel lonely in solitude?
Is solitude required for greatness?
Is solitude negative
positive or neutral?
Should we sometimes seek solitude?
What is the soul?
Who are we?
Is there life after death?
Can we be in connection with our soul?
Is the soul immortal or something finite?
What is enlightenment?
Is it something that everybody can attain?
Why are we not born enlightened?
Do we need a teacher or should we do it on our own?
Is there one or several paths towards enlightenment?
How does it feel lie to be enlightened?
What is the relationship between inner and physical strength?
What makes us stronger?
Do we get stronger or weaker with life?
Are we stronger alone or in a group?
What is the greatest strength of humans?
How can we fight for our survival?
Is survival our highest value?
How can we ensure the long-term survival of Humanity?
If there is life after death
what is the place of survival in our lives?
What is the role of technology in our lives?
How can we improve our technology?
Can technology realy improve our lives?
Is technology just a tool to destroy ourselves and others?
What can tempt us?
Is tempation dangerous?
Should we just give in to temptation?
Is temptation a powerful motivator we should use?
Is time fleeing inevitable?
Can we travel through time?
Is time just an illusion?
How can we make the best use of our time?
What should be tolerated?
Is tolerance acceptance?
How can we teach tolerance?
Is tolerance always desirable?
What breeds totalitarianism?
How can we fight totalitarianism?
Can totalitarianism be positive?
Is it inevitable to come back in cycles over time?
What do we feel when we experience a tragedy?
How can we avoid tragedies?
What does a tragedy teach us?
How does a tragedy change us?
Should we travel or is it useless?
Does travelling make us more mature?
How can we encourage people to travel more?
Are all travels a quest that makes us progress?
What makes us trustworthy?
What makes us trust others?
How can we encourage trust?
What destroys our trust?
Is trust really good or dangerous?
Is there a single truth or are things a matter of perspective?
What makes something true?
Does truth need to be protected or can it stand on its own?
Can we distort and corrupt truth?
What is the value of self-sacrifice?
How can we reward valor?
Is valor a virtue or a vice?
Who is responsible for encouraging valor?
Is vanity an answer to inner wounds?
Should vanity be discouraged?
Does vanity give us self-confidence?
How do people become vain?
Can violence be justified?
Who has the right to exercise violence?
What are the consequences of violence?
Does violence breed violence?
What makes us open up?
Do people exploit our vulnerability?
Ca we be happy without being vulnerability?
Is vulnerability linked to strength or weakness?
What is the purpose of war?
Who can wage war?
Can war bring progress?
Is war negative and evil or a necessity of life?
What does it mean to be wise?
Can wisdom be a function of intelligence?
Does it require to be old to be wise?
Can wisdom be taught and learned?