A Few Words About Theme
By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator StoryWeaver, Co-
Go to Table of Contents to read the entire book free online
Or, you can download it to your Kindle
Theme: An Emotional Argument
It is one thing to tell your audience, “Greed leads to self-
You should focus on the Emotional Argument as the way to prove your point without resorting to cut-
“Greed,” in our example premise, does not really stand alone, but has a counter-
In our story, act by act, we need to explore both point and counterpoint several times to see the relative worth of each. BUT, we should never compare both DIRECTLY. Rather, the thematic point should be explored on several occasions to see how it fares. Interwoven in other scenes or moments, the counterpoint needs to be separately explored to see how it fares on its own. As the story progresses, the audience will begin to tally-
For example, Greed may seem to have a greatly negative impact in its first appearance, but slightly positive results in its second. A third appearance might see it as being neutral. Overall, the average of all three appearances rates it as slightly negative.
In contrast, Generosity might appear ALSO greatly negative at first, then highly positive, then slightly positive. In the end, it averages out as slightly positive. The conclusion for the audience is that Greed is somewhat worse than Generosity.
Emotions don’t see things as black and white. By avoiding the simple blanket statement made by a premise and “arguing” the relative worth of point and counter-