Theme and Me

I was supposed to write this sooner, but I lost ground, and now that I’ve been sipping on a latte, I seem to know where the bread is buttered. I was wandering aloud what my story is about and what my theme is for the novel. Ages ago, in grad school, my screenwriting professor drilled into us, “writing is rewritng,” but he also stressed that theme is important.

A good friend pointed out that when anyone (namely me) tells another person “what my story is about,” that I’m not supposed to give people point by point plot details, but rather tell you about the overall theme. This lets you know what I’m exploring.  It always sounds uncomplicated until I dwell on it. Today, however is the day I discuss what my novel’s about, and no, you don’t get a point by point rehash.

I wrote in my journal the story is about “perseverance through adversity,” which is only a part of the story/novel. Typically in a screenplay this would only be your act one, as a full statement for theme goes further than what I put down.  My act two would be a a verb, for example, “leads to.”

And the final part of sentence is the third act, which I hadn’t figured out yet. My professor was right, that one would struggle to resolve this if they didn’t figure it out yet. So I need to address the final part to see if it matches with what I figured out to be the right thing. Mind you, I outlined the story, and see the ending in sight, I just didn’t think of the theme, and definitively write it out.

Happy creative endeavors.


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