What's the point of what you're writing? I'm serious. Take a minute and think about your current work in progress. why are you writing it? And what do you want people to get from it?
In film studies, a theme is a central message within a narrative of a film or television show. In general, themes fit into two categories: a work's thematic concept is what the audience "thinks the work is about" and its thematic statement is "what the work says about the subject of the story." As you can imagine, these vary based on the film, characters, director, and writer.
We sometimes call themes the "central message." So, what's the central message in your story?
And how can you get that message onto the page?
We have some ideas for you.
'The Nowhere Inn'Credit: IFC Films
7 Ways to Bring Thematic Elements Into Your Writing
Thematic elements are an important part of any screenplay, as they give your story depth, meaning, and resonance with audiences. Here are some ways to bring thematic elements into your screenplays:
Choose a theme that is relevant and meaningful to you: Start by identifying a theme that is important to you and that you are passionate about. This will help you to write with authenticity and to create a story that resonates with others.
Incorporate symbols and motifs: Symbols and motifs are recurring elements that reinforce the theme of your story. For example, a broken clock could symbolize the passage of time, while a recurring image of water could symbolize the flow of life.
Develop your characters: Characters are the vessels through which you can explore your theme. By creating well-rounded characters with clear motivations, desires, and conflicts, you can delve deeper into your theme and bring it to life on the page.
Use subplots to reinforce the theme:Subplots can be used to reinforce the theme and explore it from different angles. For example, a subplot about a secondary character could provide a counterpoint to the main theme and deepen the audience's understanding of it.
Use dialogue to convey the theme:Dialogue is a powerful tool for conveying the theme of your story. Characters can discuss the theme directly or their conversations can be used to indirectly suggest the theme.
Pay attention to structure: The structure of your screenplay can also help to reinforce the theme. For example, using a non-linear structure could suggest that the passage of time is not linear or that events are interconnected.
Revise and refine: Finally, as you revise and refine your screenplay, be sure to consider how the theme is being expressed and whether it is coming through in a clear and meaningful way. Make changes as needed to ensure that your theme is effectively integrated into the story.
By incorporating these techniques, you can bring thematic elements into your screenplay and create a story that is not only entertaining but also meaningful and impactful.
What are some questions or ideas you have about themes?
Let us know in the comments.