I cam sum up the entire book with this statement: theme is everything.
But that would be a terrible disservice to Steven.
Yes, theme is central to your story. But it goes beyond that. Your theme is the mother, the father, the brother, the sister, the cousin, the everyone and everything of your story. Without a theme, you don’t have a story.
Everything within your story should support your theme. If it doesn’t, remove it.
Looking deeper into your theme, it should work on multiple levels. Peel back the layers of your theme and you will find the key elements of your story.
Your theme is the heartbeat of your story. The heart pumps blood throughout your entire body.
Likewise, your theme should pump blood into every nook and cranny of your story.
Find your theme. And use it. Everywhere.