Sunday, November 22, 2009

It all comes back to theme

Have you ever written a script and realized one of your characters wasn't really doing anything? No? That's only my problem? I was watching an episode of Sex and the City a few nights ago...the one in which Charlotte marries Trey and Carrie feels guilty about cheating on Aidan and wants to come clean. (I certainly picked a depressing episode for my first SATC in a while.) It was all about flaws. Aidan makes a wedding present for Charlotte and Trey - a wooden bench or something - and talks about how he likes the flaws in the wood. So Carrie thinks...maybe Aidan can accept my flaws, my bad decision to cheat, and love me anyway. Of course, it doesn't quite work out that way. Meanwhile, Charlotte discovers Trey has a sexual problem, but Trey refuses to face this flaw and do something about it. Every moment added something to the thematic discussion.

Sometimes I think when we do outlines and drafts and rewrites and we can get so bogged down in the nuts and bolts that we forget about what we had envisioned for our theme. So if you're stuck coming up with a plot, I think it helps to go back to your theme. What are you exploring and examining? What are you trying to say?

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A Pi said...

LOL what is with these spam comments?

Kristan said...

LOL to Rene!!

Also, I think your advice is great: if you're feeling stuck/lost, go back to the theme.

Also also, isn't SATC such a wonderfully written show?! I'm not saying every episode was perfect, but on the whole, when I watched it this year, I found myself not only entertained as a viewer but also impressed as a writer.