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Story: What Makes It Really One? Part-02

Published on October 16, 2017

By John Edathattil

In a way, I think, theme is connected a lot with writing from the heart. So when the writer writes, with the instinctive back-up of 'theme', the reader or viewer may find various meanings to it, as to their experience and understanding of life. They may construe it in many ways, far meaningful than the writer may have imagined.

But as for the writer, one writes about what one looks at the world and life personally, giving a private, self-evolved meaning to it. Let's talk about an experience I had gone through a few weeks back:

I hurry to a Cafe one fine morning to have a quick coffee and reach the workshop venue. As I am about to enter the Cafe from the road, I see a middle-aged, weary woman asking me alms. I avoid her, find a convenient place inside and order the Coffee. I take out my shoulder bag, and sit, and look casually out just to find the woman looking from the road, straight at me, her eyes pathetically searching. But when she realizes I'm looking at her, she shifts her gaze away.

I find this annoying immediately, as the coffee arrives and I sip at it. I find the woman look at me sipping the coffee a couple of times, as I shift my stare with displeasure and apathy. Perhaps it shows on my face! And the third time I shift my gaze combing for her, she is not there!

Suddenly I realize that the woman could sense my uneasiness at her looking at me while I drank the coffee and leaves me to my privacy and comforts. I sit there sipping my coffee, trying to analyze what the woman has just done. Empathizing with me! While I really fail doing the same with her!

This experience gives me a very private, self-evolved connectivity to the 'theme' I attach with it. Many others who read it or view it as a movie may find many different meanings from their individual perspectives.

Please don't force a theme if you still don't have one before you write your story; let 'theme' come to you in its own time and definition. You can fine-tune the whole theme while you re-write.

Just for the sake of getting a hands-on feel, I'll give you some examples of 'themes' of some screenplays:

Erin Brockovich: It's to do with self-esteem and self-worth; of not being dismissed or laughed at, but being recognized for one's own abilities and talents; and that self-respect comes from selflessness.

Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility.

Field of Dreams: It's important for us to have dreams - even if those dreams are not ultimately fulfilled, it's important for us to have them.

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence): Our humanity - and being human - is defined by our capacity to love and be loved.

Guna (Tamil): Where do you find pure love in this modern world - in a schizophrenic mind?

Thaniyavarthanam [Repetition] (Malayalam): Mothers' compassion always has reasons.

End Note:

"In my younger days I was writing, but then I discovered something: I had this great urge to communicate, but I had nothing to say. " - Bruce Joel Robin, Screenwriter: Ghost, My Life, Stuart Little 2, Deep Impact.


A Workshop @ Bangalore

Two-Day Weekend workshop on ALL
ABOUT SCREENPLAYS at Bhubaneswar, Odisha ::   19-20 July, 2014.

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SW starts Distance Education Programs for
aspiring screenwriters all over Tamilnadu and India. For more details submit your online applications or write to:

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John Edathattil, Founder of ScreenWrite.In  is soon to launch online certification courses on screenwriting
considering the query from many aspirants around the world. Await webinars to follow, too!

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ScreenWrite.In will sincerely help you sell
your screenplay. Advertise your product in our website which is linked to many reputed production houses and directors!

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Ikchr Entertainment Pvt Ltd looks forward
to support and produce qualified feature films and shorts. /

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Coming Soon .....


November 2015
Scope for Screenwriters: Introductory 2-Day Course
Visual Storytelling: An Introduction for Directors, Writers & Producers
December 2015
Practical Tools for Creative Screenwriting -
Individuality and Career Development for Writers, Directors & Producers

January 2016
Developing the Visual Imagination: Storyboarding for Directors & Screenwriters
Script Surgery   

February 2016
Screenwriters’ engagement in Post Production
About Location Sound for Screenwriters and Directors

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