Thematic Imprinting—Exploring Issues in Stories

As Chapter 10 of Discovering the Soul of Your Story reveals, the theme of any story revolves around a central issue that may be thought of as a topic of concern regarding how to live. Specifically, the theme represents the opinion of the story regarding its issue.

In the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, for example, the issue of "finding one's soul mate" informs the story world of its main character, Charles, throughout the film, and all of the other members of the core ensemble also weigh in on the issue through their words, actions, attitudes, and approaches.

Your assignment in this exercise is to examine another produced story (in any medium) the theme of which concerns the issue of "finding one's soul mate." The theme of the story may represent any opinion (pro or con) regarding the issue—for example, supporting the idea that soul mates exist and are worth waiting for or decrying the idea as a hurtful fantasy that prevents those who hold it from finding happiness. Regardless of its opinion, however, the issue of "finding one's soul mate" must stand out clearly.

The response to this exercise should include:

  • A few lines that describe the story in enough detail that the reader is able to discern its general arc
  • A list of members of the core ensemble of characters and the perspective that each sheds on the issue of finding one's soul mate

To respond to this exercise, simply submit your response as a comment, below.

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For More Information

For details regarding these concepts and terms, see the Discovering the Soul of Your Story—Overview video and the glossary. For more exercises like this, visit the Exercises category.

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