Thursday, November 6, 2014


Beliefs are abbreviations of meaning - matrices of boiled down facts, desires, anxieties & scraps of evidence upon which we are prepared to ACT. In the case of dramatic stories and screenplays, the situations of the characters also reflect their beliefs and the actions they’ve taken as a result of these beliefs, even when the actions are purely ironic or deceitful. As such, whatever meaning we - as audience - derive from a story-experience depends largely upon whether or not we are able to make the connection between what a character DOES and what a character BELIEVES and vice versa. What are the beliefs that inform the actions of your characters? What do they believe about themselves? What do they believe about their world? And what does the world think of them? Your story may be bold and unexpected or trite and formulistic, but unless the characters ACT - and unless we can grasp the connection between what they do and what they believe - the story may struggle to create any meaning at all. Having said this, and assuming that you have indeed made those connections, you have to ask is the meaning significant or trivial? The answer to this question isn’t so much about whether you’ve made those connections between thought and action, but more about whether the characters are engaged in actions that thoroughly challenge and provoke your own habits of thought (beliefs).

No comments: