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Friday, May 04, 2007

Another Thought on Theme

I'm loving this book I'm dipping into, Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias. It's for screenwriters, but all the advice applies to anyone who wants to tell a story well. Here's a paragraph in the chapter on theme:
Preaching is frowned upon in dramatic writing because it's telling. . . . Show your theme in action, and make the reader feel it instead. . . . But don't be heavy-handed, and have your characters scream, "Hey, this is my message!" It's more like sweetening a glass of ice tea. Mix in regular sugar and it will sink to the bottom, making it bitter, except at the bottom, which will be too sweet. But try it with Sweet N' Low and the tea will be sweet throughout. Sweetness is your message, and it must be completely diluted to disappear into the beverage of storytelling.

category: craft


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