Screenwriting : Thoughts on theme by Shari D. Frost

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Shari D. Frost

Thoughts on theme

ignore the title -- this article is primarily about screenwriting. i found it interesting because my process is generally to begin with theme. where does theme come in for you?

Bill Costantini

Sometimes it's premise/concept, sometimes it's theme. I guess it depends on if I'm thinking in the abstract ("I want to write a story about alienation"), or if I'm thinking in the literal ("I want to write a story about a returning soldier"). Either way, though, the theme will definitely be in place before I start brainstorming and outlining.

Dawn Murrell

I start with something that I have seen or something that has happened to me or around me, then I make up what could be an interesting story about it. (people watching)

Doug Nelson

The underlying theme and the basic story premise seem heavily intertwined in the beginning but as the story evolves, the theme often shifts the story line. I see this as a chicken or egg question.

Cherie Grant

Theme is just something that is there for me. I tend to veer towards stories that already have the same themes. I guess i'm working some shit out.

Owen Mowatt

Agree with Doug. I don't sweat knowing my theme from the get go, although I am very mindful of its importance as it will provide subtext.

Fiona Faith Ross

Theme comes in early for me. My ideas usually start with a character who wants something, or who has a problem, and the want or the need reveals the theme. I follow Writing Wednesdays too. Great thread, @Shari.

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