Some people are wary of crafting or discussing theme, but theme exists in all (good) stories. Here, we examine what theme is, how a story employs it, the effect on readers, and how writers can be intentional about theme.
Character arc (aka the internal plot) is essential for a satisfying story structure. You might have tension on every page and you might follow what you think is a winning structure, but if you don’t have a character arc, your story will fail to resonate with readers. Learn the key concepts for character arcs here.