I recently came across an article on the 10 most common themes in film. The Script Lab lists these themes as staples used to underpin plots. Common themes make comments on human nature, society, existential crises, and life.
They are used repeatedly in fiction because they talk about what it is to be a human being. If you want people to relate to you and your blog, you will have to address these issues too. I thought using these themes might be useful as inspiration for bloggers. You can use them literally or figuratively.
The Top 10 Themes In Film
1. Man vs Himself
We are all our own worst enemies. No matter what the outside world presents as a challenge, how we choose to respond shows us who we really are. Internal struggles are great for sub-plots in stories, whether they are battles against addiction, resisting the temptations of adultery, or coping with mental illness.
There is endless material here for blogs. If you’re blogging about writing, discuss self-doubt, procrastination, and writer’s block. Potential Post: Why Writers Are Their Own Worst Enemies
2. Man vs Nature
No man is an island. Everything that happens in nature affects us. This can be in a cataclysmic way, like an earthquake, or a more subtle way, like climate change.
You can use this in your blog. If you’re blogging about writing, talk about how the world around us affects publishing and readers’ habits. Potential Post: Why Millennials Love Dystopian Fiction
The desire for revenge is one of the strongest motivators of human beings. Sometimes the revenge is justified, sometimes not.
If you’re blogging about writing, use this theme to show how this desire can motivate success. Potential Post: 10 Lessons I Learnt About Plotting From My Cheating Spouse
4. The Loss Of Innocence
This is based on the classic coming of age story. It is essentially about leaving childhood behind, voluntarily or involuntarily. Growing up can happen as a result of trauma (death, divorce, abuse) or simply by getting older.
If you’re blogging about writing, use this as inspiration for blogs on how writers grow as a result of change. Potential Post: How Being An Outsider Made Me A Better Writer
5. Death As A Part Of Life
We all have to die. It is the inevitability that gets our attention. The mystery surrounding what happens next fascinates us. These stories are about dying, grief, loss, and the after world.
If you’re blogging about writing, use this theme to explore spirituality and motivation. Potential Post: 5 Lessons Grief Teaches Writers
6. The Battle
Although conflict is central to all stories, some books revolve around a real battle. This is not about right and wrong, or good and evil, and readers usually pick the protagonist’s side in this fight. The fear of dying plays a big part in these stories.
If you’re blogging about writing, use this as inspiration for posts on battles you’ve had to become a better writer. Potential Post: How Winning A Writing Competition Taught Me Compassion
7. Triumph over Adversity
We all love stories where the human spirit triumphs over injustice, tyranny, and bad luck. These stories revolve around exceptional people in awful situations, whether they are there by birth or circumstance.
If you’re blogging about writing, use this theme to blog about overcoming problems. Potential Post: How Fighting Corruption Teaches You To Create Compelling Antagonists
8. Love Conquers All
Love is the most powerful emotion (or is that fear?). Anyway, we all want to be loved. We all want to be with the people we love. Stories about the pursuit of love are fiction staples.
If you blog about writing, use this passion to show how this emotion changes everything. Potential Post: What Pursuing My Wife Taught Me About Suspense
9. Individual vs Society
These stories are about a protagonist who stands up against society. They often feature a protagonist who sacrifices his or her own well-being for a cause. They can also be about fighting patriarchy, racism, and authority.
If you’re blogging about writing, write a post showing how standing up for yourself or others can help you to come to terms with the world. Potential Post: 7 Ways Feminists Can Teach You To Create Strong Protagonists
10. Good vs Evil
This is the staple of fiction writing. We have heroes and villains because of this theme. “It’s the struggle that underlines comics, books, films, and even culture. There is the good: courage, freedom, loyalty, and honour. And there is the bad: cowardice, imprisonment, selfishness, and betrayal.”
If you blog about writing, this theme offers endless inspiration. Potential Post: Why You Need A Villain In Your Story
No matter what you blog about, you can use these themes as inspiration for your next post.
Top Tip: If you want to learn how to blog, join us for The Complete Blogging Course in Johannesburg or sign up for the online version. If you want to learn how to write a screenplay, sign up for our NEW online course: The Script.
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