I’ve been delving a lot lately into the theme of my book, The Secret of the Codex. (Soon to be books, once this first one is completely finished!) James L. Rubart says that the theme of your life (and writing) can be discovered by the themes of your 3 favorite movies. Mine are:
World War Z
Day After Tomorrow
So, in light of this concept, I went back and rewatched 2 of them. (I had plans to watch the third, but work is super busy right now. Plus, I’ve seen Day After Tomorrow like 30 times, so I feel confident I can speak knowledgeably about this…)
First I watched Dante’s Peak. (Don’t hate on it – it was an epic movie for its time. And I think it still is.) I wondered what the theme was: survival? Family? A man whom no one believed but turned out in the end to be right? I thought I might be on to something with that last one, because of the scene in Day After Tomorrow where no one believes Jake Gyllenhaal’s character – but where does that fit in World War Z?
Then I watched World War Z. And as the final credits rolled, I realized something all three movies have in common: LOVE. They all have a love story! And they are all different – World War Z shows love between a husband and wife (and kids). Day After Tomorrow shows a first love between two high school students (and a father and mother for their son). And Dante’s Peak shows a new love after much heartbreak.
Okay, so love. But I don’t write love stories, do I?
I thought about my book. Kayla and Grady: love story. Mandy and Justin: love story. Even Justin’s parents are in there, and the love story they share comes across.
Oh geez. I didn’t want to write love stories.
But then I thought about it: the main point of these movies weren’t the love stories, even though that was an integral part of the story, and arguably the entire point; the main stories were about death, destruction, the end of the world. Goes hand in hand with love stories, doesn’t it?
Not quite, but follow me here. The three movies mentioned are all about surviving through the worst the world could throw at them. But survival is a moot point if there’s nothing worth surviving for.
Then it hit me, why I loved these movies so much.
You know when things just seem to fall into place and you wondered how you’d never made that connection before? Even in the light of my book, it made sense. And I discovered the theme of my writing – and my life.
Love is worth surviving for.
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