Is this a theme?



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  • Is this a theme?

    Hey I have just read the art of dramatic writing by Laios Egri.

    First of all, it is the best book on writing I have read, including all of the screenplay specific books I have read.

    Anyway I am struggling with my theme or premise as he calls it. Foolishly I have an idea and story and am attempting to fit a theme to it. Knowing this is a backwards way to do it if you are following Egri's direction.

    Would this suffice as a theme? Is it written clearly enough?

    Longing for la ife not lived will end in the destruction of your existing one.

    The "longing for a life not lived" is what I am concerned with. What I am trying to explain is sometihing to this effect.

    What would your life be like if you grew up with the father you have never met?
    What would your life be like if you didn't have that abortion when you were a teenager?
    What would your life be like if you were adopted as oppose to growing up with parents you hate?

    Any of these would work. So I am trying to portray a character who can not get past the "what if my life had gone this way" and how it effects his current life.

    If you guys can help me word this better or if it is sufficient let me know.

    Is it even a theme at all?

    thnx, odetotud

  • #2
    Re: Is this a theme?

    Hey odetotud,

    Don't know if I will be much help, but, I think you are on the right track in regards to a theme.

    I actually have a short script that I wrote last year with a theme similar to this. At least I think it is.

    From what you have stated, it seems like your character is longing for a life that isn't his/hers, obviously. Which in turn, effects their life greatly.

    What happens when someone sits there and wishes that their life would turn out this way or that way? Well, they basically let their life they had in front of them slip by because they spent it wishing.

    See what I mean? I'd say you have half of a theme. Your character basically wastes a life that could have been a certain way. Perhaps the life they are wishing for, but, it's too late. They never took charge to make it happen because they sat their wishing the entire time, instead of doing.

    I dunno, looking at what I wrote, I may not know what I am talking about at all!
    We Are Legion.


    • #3
      Re: Is this a theme?



      • #4
        Re: Is this a theme?

        As amandag said, regret seems to be a good way to sum this up. Or, to be more complete, "Regret will consume you."
        Sent from my iPhone. Because I'm better than you.


        • #5
          Re: Is this a theme?

          Originally posted by amandag View Post
          ... I've had a few


          • #6
            Re: Is this a theme?

            ...But then again, too few to mention...


            • #7
              Re: Is this a theme?

              I did what I planned to do, and ... aw never mind.

              Hey Odetud, I think you are on the right track as Raw said.

              Check out what Ted Elliott said on this subject on this page:


              Scroll down to "TED ELLIOTT", click, then go to his post called "Theme Thoughts."

              Also, you might do a search in the screenwriting topic on this board for a big post on theme that TaoTropics wrote about a year ago ...


              • #8
                Re: Is this a theme?

                It's been a little while since I read Egri, but I think your premise could be "An inability to let go of whay may have been leads to an empty life," or something along those lines. I do think you can make a theme out of this. Good luck.
                -Some Guy