As soon as I figure out the theme of my play, I type it out in one line and Scotch-tape it to the front of my typewriter. After that, nothing goes into that play that isn’t on-theme.If there is a single more powerful piece of wisdom for any writer, artist, or entrepreneur, I don’t know what it is. Theme. Theme is everything.
Once we know the theme, we know the climax, we know the protagonist, we know the antagonist, we know the supporting characters, we know the opening, we know the throughline.
For each new project, I open a new file and title it THEME. I go back to this file over and over. I pile paragraph on paragraph, trying to answer the question, ‘What the hell is this book about?’ It’s hard.
A good script has no accidents… everything has purpose in your script. Every word. Every character. Every line of dialogue. No scene is random. Every single scene in your screenplay has a purpose and contains the story’s DNA.
We want to be able to *show* rather than *tell* our stories. Give audiences an experience rather than a lecture. You want your story to *demonstrate* the theme. Let the story and all of the other elements in your script carry the theme. No need for lectures or on-the-nose dialogue the theme is under every surface.
You want theme to be buried so deep that it doesn’t show, yet effects everything in your story. If you break your story using a story seed that is theme based, every element becomes thematic.