In another recent thread here and in other places I traverse, I have seen writers state they dont put much thought into a story's theme. They start with the character and the plot and build from there. I dont really understand this. To me, a theme is the point of the story. To make my point, contrast two recent tv shows: Lost and Breaking Bad. Both had interesting characters and some plots. But with Lost, once the the writers got past the original idea, they had no idea where to take it. Plane crashes on remote island with supernatural forces. Ok, what now? They had no idea and it showed, finishing with a much derided finale. Breaking Bad had a powerful theme of Walter's desire to satisfy his ego as a drug dealer but ultimately it cost him everything. It probably started with a cool idea - chemistry teacher has cancer and uses his knowledge to make crystal meth to pay for chemo. But the theme kept it going and ultimately led to a satisfactory ending. That's my perspective. Could others, particularly those who dont start with a theme, please share how they think about this? What am I missing from the opposing point of view? I am genuinely curious how other approach their craft of creating a story what I might learn from these perspectives.