Any story is made up of a unique mix of threads. These threads could be just about anything depending on the genre, audience, and themes, but for my purposes here we’ll talk about two basic categories: emotional threads and plot threads. We have emotional threads made up of characters’ motivations, loves, fears, struggles, and growth; and plot threads made up of conflict, choices, twists, disasters, outside forces, and triumphs. The way these threads weave together form the themes of the novel—the abstract ideas our story is exploring, such as love, selfishness, war, identity, grief, good vs evil . . . the list could go on and on.