VIDEO – Finding Your Theme

New Video: Finding Your Theme 

By Jacob Krueger

If you read a lot of screenwriting books, it’s easy start to think of theme as an intellectual tool:  something that you apply to your writing in order to make decisions about what should be happening, what your character should be doing or saying or what message your audience should leave the movie believing. But theme actually comes from a much deeper place than that.  It’s not something you apply on top of your writing, or a tool you use to control your writing.  Rather it’s something that you discover through the process of writing: the deep rooted question you’re wrestling with on the subconscious level that drove you to write this screenplay in the first place.

Once you’ve discovered that theme, you can use it to guide and focus every aspect of your writing.  But many writers never get to their real theme.  Because the instincts that would have lead them there end up subverted by the well meaning advice of friends, family, inexperienced screenwriting teachers and well meaning producers, whose focus on formulaic fixes to the “problems” of your script often end up cutting you off from the themes that would truly have made it great.

Writing is a lot like therapy.  Though you may think you know exactly what you’re writing about when you first start your project, most likely you’ll be surprised to discover how much deeper your writing goes once you’ve allowed yourself to follow your instincts.

In this new video, I discuss where themes come from, and ways to protect yourself from losing touch with yours.

Finding Your Theme

 

Video Transcription:

Here is the great news about theme: You cannot escape it.  You cannot escape your theme.

There is something wrong with you.  You want to be a writer.  That means there’s something wrong with you.

I mean that in the most loving way possible.

There is something compelling you to spend a tremendous amount of time sweat and tears doing something that is very hard.

There is something driving you that is extraordinarily powerful.  Because we all know this is not easy.  We do it because we’re driven to it.  We can’t stop it.

That thing that’s driving you is your theme.

You don’t need to know it consciously.  Sometimes all you know when you first start out is that you want to write a movie.

Other times we do know it consciously.  Some of us start a script saying “I’m curious about this.”

And if you keep pushing that theme further and further, then you will discover what’s lying underneath it: the true emotional need that’s driving you to write.

In fact there is only one way to escape your theme.

And that way is to listen to other people’s advice.

Because if you listen to other people’s advice as opposed to your instincts, then you’re building their theme instead of your theme.

The way you lose track of your theme is by going “oh my brilliant screenwriting professor said I should do this, so I’m going to do it even though it’s not my instinct.”

Or “Well, you know, I read Save The Cat! and it said I should have a cat fall out of a tree, so now I’m doing that…”

And then you end up losing your theme.

Because you’re no longer following your own impulses, you’re following someone else’s.

 

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

CONTACT US
Email: info@writeyourscreenplay.com
Call: 917.464.3594
CONNECT
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

© 2014 - 2022 Jacob Krueger Studio, LLC | Privacy & Terms of Use

Welcom Back!

Log in to access your account

Our website uses cookies to provide a better user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more about cookies and how you can refuse them.

Your seminar link is on its way to your inbox.

But wait… that’s not it!

Join us for a FREE WRITING CLASS!

Join award-winning screenwriter, Jacob Krueger, and industry pros for an hour of writing lessons and guided exercises. Every Thursday, via Zoom.

Sign up below for this Thursday’s class!

thursday-night-writes-free-screenwriting-class-jacob-krueger-studio

Tickets

Registration Information

Need Help? CONTACT US

We will see you this Thursday!

7pm ET / 4pm PT

Check Your Email For The Link

(Don’t see it? Check your spam folder)

Donate To Our Scholarship Fund

We match every donation we receive dollar for dollar, and use the funds to offset the cost of our programs for students who otherwise could not afford to attend.

We have given away offer 130,000 of scholarships in the past year.

Thank you for your support!

Other Amount? CONTACT US

Get Your Video Seminar

myth-three-act-structure-jacob-krueger-studio-free-seminar

Where should we send it?

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Would You Like More Information About Our Classes?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Need A Payment Plan?

We like working with artists and strive not to leave writers behind over money.

If you need a payment plan or another arrangement to participate in our programs, we are happy to help.

Chat us or give us a call at 917-464-3594 and we will figure out a plan that fits your budget.

Join the waitlist!

Fill in the form below to be placed on the waitlist. We'll let you know once a slot opens up!