This is the question your audience asks if they want to find out the soul of the story in your screenplay.

The soul of a story is the idea, the message, the theme, the premise, the core or the truth about the story.
It is the main point and focus about the story. It is the story's heart and life.
It is the main reason why you have the story in the first place. It is the centrifugal force that holds the story and makes it become truly a story.

A screenplay has a lot of elements in it. These elements often conspire to distract the writer and make him loose grip on maintaining the track for the soul of his story. Certain things may go different ways. Your characters' dialogues can at a point in time negate the theme. Even the locations, timings, actions, background and settings can equally fall out of the theme. And one big blow about this is that once such an abnormality occurs, you may be at the verge of losing almost everything.
The soul of your story is very important, so you need to be careful in order to get those elements together.

The soul of a story is made up of the topics from everyday life; politics, love, relationship, law, crime, unemployment, child abuse, vandalism, medicine, fraud, and many more.
Once you have any of these topics as the soul of your story, it means you are exploring it. It means you are writing everything about it. It means you are exposing it. It means you have an aim of showing the audience certain important issues (if not all) about it. It means you are teaching them what they may not have known about it.
Now, elucidating and teaching your audience about the topic means you are taking advantage of the screenplay elements which are always at your disposal to do so.
And as you read earlier, you need to make sure these elements combine in a good form to accomplish your mission.

  • Mind your locations and timings. You can't be writing about law when your locations are always in the bedroom. What happens to the court room?
  • Let the actions represent the topic. Can medical doctors always be seen at the war front?
  • The characters must fit into the topic. Unemployed people do not own flashy cars.
  • No unnecessary dialogues; just go straight to the point. A hardened criminal should not consciously be quoting the bible or discussing Jesus Christ with his friends.
  • Mind the settings. An office of a political governor should not have 'health tips' or 'how to pass your exams tips' calendars.

Apart from all the above, you will have to create a concept that will always remind your audience what your story is all about. This concept will always intermediately state the soul of the story.
Your supporting character can do this. He should at every point in time perform an action that will draw your audience back to the core of the story.

The soul of a story adds a great value to that story. It makes the story to be real.
Know your topic, stick to it. Create a concept and then get all the elements in your screenplay to uphold the soul and consequently pass your message across.

Written by: Winston 'Winny Greazy' Oge

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