“What have I learned about my themes?”

December 27th, 2012 by

As we jam through to the end of The Quest including those participants in Go On Your Own Quest, follow the prime directive: Keep pushing to FADE OUT. But you can also start shifting your attention to the next phase: Rewriting. This week, a series of questions to ask to kick-start that process.

Today: “What have I learned about my themes?”

I don’t think about theme as the moral of the story or the central premise of the story. Rather my principle is this: Theme = Meaning. And specifically emotional meaning. This centers the concept of theme where I believe it should be: Upon the characters.

So as you finish up your first draft, instead of trying to deal with the intellectual issues of moral or premise, zero in on your characters and ponder what the experiences in the story have meant to them on an emotional level.

A great way to ensure you stay in touch with the emotional life of your story as you transition into rewrites is to ask:

“What have I learned about my themes?”

The Quest” has entered Week 24 — the last week! And so did Go On Your Own Quest, an opportunity for anyone to follow the structure of “The Quest” to dig into screenwriting theory [Core - 8 weeks], figure out your story [Prep - 6 weeks], and write a first draft [Pages - 10 weeks]. It’s a 24-week immersion in the screenwriting process and you can do it here – for free!

Today and every Monday through Friday for the last 10 weeks, I have used this slot to post something inspirational as GOYOQ participants pound out their first drafts.

For background on “Go Into The Story: The Quest,” go here and here.

For all the previous weeks of Go On Your Own Quest posts, go here.

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