This is our third post in succession about Theme in movies, plays, and books. I’m probably gonna do another six or seven over the coming weeks, so brace yourself. This stuff is important.

Bryce Dallas Howard in "Jurassic World."

Bryce Dallas Howard in “Jurassic World.”

Let’s go back to that seminal quote from Paddy Chayefsky, cited two Wednesdays ago.


As soon as I figure out what my play is about, I type it out in one line and Scotch tape it to the front of my typewriter. After that, nothing goes into the play that is not on-theme.


Paddy might not approve if he knew I was about to use Jurassic World to illustrate his point. But let’s go for it.

The theme of all the Jurassic Park movies is Don’t Mess With Mother Nature. Let’s examine how the filmmakers of the latest in this series have followed Paddy’s precept.

First, the park-goers.

The crowds at Jurassic World could have been scripted or directed to act in any number of ways. They could have been mature, ecologically-minded, curious, respectful, well-behaved.

But that wouldn’t be on-theme. In fact it would clash with the theme. It wouldn’t fit, and we in the audience would feel that something was “off” and out of tune.

So the filmmakers made the crowds boisterous, boorish, and crude. They made their movements mob-like and unruly. They dressed them like rubes. They established their attitude toward the dinosaurs as one of condescension and exploitation, mixed with a measure of fear and self-titillation that only added to the vulgar, swinish quality of their characterization.

The crowds thought it was cool to mess with Mother Nature. They were having a blast ogling the captive, manufactured-for-spectacle dinosaurs.

In other words, the park-goers represent the counter-theme. They are the villain (or at least part of the villain.)

Then we have park management.

The execs at InGen obviously have no problem messing with Mother Nature. That’s the whole reason for the park. The science dudes want to push the envelope on genetic mutations. The investors want to make money. And the on-site managers hope to advance their careers.

The “nice” park executive is played by Bryce Dallas Howard. She’s at least trying to be responsible. She wants the show to go on. She wants everyone to have a good time. She doesn’t want anybody to be hurt.

She’s in the middle on the Mother Nature theme.

Next: Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) as chief of park security. His job is to secretly weaponize the raptors for war. He’s working for the man in all kinds of dark capacities. In other words, he really believes in messing with Mother Nature.

Finally we get to our hero, raptor wrangler Chris Pratt.

Chris is the only one who actually cares about the dinosaurs. When the Indominus Rex begins running amok, every other character is trying to save his or her butt or save the park or save the mega-dino to exploit further. Only Chris actually relates to the animals as fellow creatures.

Chris Pratt trying to reason with his raptor friends.

Chris Pratt trying to reason with his raptor charges.

Hey, he says, what about them? They didn’t ask for this. They’re just doing what dinosaurs do. You guys uncorked the powers of Mother Nature. What did you expect would happen?

Chris is the hero. He represents the theme.

(And let’s not forget the dinosaurs. They’re the heroes too.)

A movie or a book is like a seduction. It’s like a legal brief, a sales pitch, a TED talk. If it’s going to work, it must be focused. It has to make one point—and make that point with all the concentrated power it can muster.

In the same way that an iPhone possesses unity, or a St. Laurent gown or a Ferarri Testarossa, a story must be structured to deliver one unified punch.


“Did he try any of that funny business with the trees?”

“I said he drove very nicely, Mother. Now, please, I asked him to stay close to the white line, and all, and he knew what I meant, and he did … “


This is Muriel, the young wife of Seymour Glass in J.D. Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Bananafish. Muriel and Seymour are on vacation at a beach hotel. Muriel is alone in Room 507.


“When I think of how you waited for that boy all through the war … ”

“Mother, we’d better hang up. Seymour may come in any minute.”


Outside, Seymour is wading into the ocean with another guest at the hotel, four-year-old Sybil Carpenter.


” … They lead a very tragic life,” he said. “You know what they do, Sybil?”

She shook her head.

“Well, they swim into a hole where there’s a lot of bananas. They’re very ordinary fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I’ve known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas … “


The theme of Bananafish is that war kills.


He got off at the fifth floor, walked down the hall, and let himself into 507. The room smelled of new calfskin luggage and nail-lacquer remover.

He glanced at the girl lying asleep on one of the twin beds. Then he went over to one of the pieces of luggage, opened it and from under a pile of shorts and undershirts took out an Ortgies calibre 7.65 automatic. He released the magazine, looked at it, then reinserted it. He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat down on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple.


Dino flick or classic American short story, every element (as Paddy Chayefsky told us) must be on-theme.









Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

do the work book banner 1


A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.



Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.



Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"



  1. David Y.B. Kaufmann on February 17, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Powerful! I really like the switch at the end. It’s difficult separating the theme, which can be a cliche, from the cliched and worn out. I’m curious to see where future posts go.

  2. Marvin Schmidt on February 17, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Dear Mr. Pressfield: I am a photographer, an amateur. The difference between an “amateur” anything and a professional is we amateurs pay for our addiction, whereas professionals are paid for their addiction.

    I follow your articles because they are in keeping with modernity, quick and to the point. Kinda like a complex story told in a 15 second commercial. As a photographer, I have found your comments about Theme very helpful. I am not a beginner by any mean, having indulged my addiction for the past past 60+ years. Your comments on theme are spot on, offering me explanations for why I do what I do. But also opening up possibilities for future themes. Timing is everything, as you well know, and in this case helpful. My wife and I are taking our first cruise ever, to Alaska, in May of this year. Your comments on Theme will help me keep my photos “on theme”, something with which I have always had trouble. Why this phots? Why now? How does this tell the story? And just what IS the story (theme) of this series.
    Thanks you for your help.

  3. Julie on February 17, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Brilliant reminder and teaching. I can attest that it takes time and work to clarify the theme. I’ve been working on my novel and after 5 years, can finally say I’m confident about what it’s about. It seems like the simpler the theme – classic truths bordering on cliche – the better. Like, Home is where the heart is, or The answers (or power) you seek lie(s) within (Wizard of Oz?). That way, a broad audience is more likely to recognize and resonate with the theme. Even with innovative characters and plot. Am I reading that right?

    • Michael Beverly on February 17, 2016 at 7:55 am

      The importance is not the simplicity or complexity of the theme: the importance is that you stay on target.

      At least that’s my take on the OP.

      All your lies must be true.

  4. Mary Doyle on February 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for another great post! Somehow I don’t think Chayefsky would mind — the illustration was spot-on. See you back here next week.

  5. LarryP on February 17, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    A most appropriate illustration. After all, it is Theme Park.

  6. Sonja on February 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I love when you dissect a movie I’ve recently seen, and it sheds new light and reminds me of the importance of theme.

    I’m taking an online class, and this is such a relevant and powerful reminder as I submit my chapters.

    Thank you. Please keep going. I love it!

  7. Mitch Bossart on February 17, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks, Steven.

    This is so much more simple than I thought.

    I didn’t say easy!

  8. J Thomas on February 18, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Frank Zappa makes a similiar point in The Real Frank Zappa book, I quote:

    “The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively– because, without this humble appliance, you can’t know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a ‘box’ around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?”

    Thanks Steve, I was waiting for this.

    • Sean Crawford on February 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks J Thomas,
      I’m going to think about, and try to remember, what Frank Zappa said.

  9. Martin on October 7, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Jurassic World is what you get when a bunch of people get together and say “what do kids these days like?”. Its all over the place. The pacing is horrible. The message in was about research writer. Wether nature could be controlled or not.

  10. Arletta Morgan on January 23, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks, Steven. This is so much more simple than I thought I didn’t say easy!

  11. EssayWriterOnline on January 23, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks for another great post! Somehow I don’t think Chayefsky would mind — the illustration was spot-on.

  12. Timmy Fisher on March 27, 2022 at 1:01 am


  13. james on April 5, 2022 at 11:01 am


  14. sportstoto365 on May 23, 2022 at 8:51 am

    Hey! I just noticed one other message in one other weblog that looked like this. How are you aware all this stuff? That’s one cool post.

  15. totosafeguide on May 23, 2022 at 8:52 am

    “Id wish to thank you for the efforts youve got made in writing this post. Im hoping the exact same best perform from you within.

  16. topsportstoto on June 22, 2022 at 3:19 am

    Hey! I just noticed one other message in one other weblog that looked like this. How are you aware only good info for you

  17. topcasinosite365 on June 22, 2022 at 3:20 am

    I love when you dissect a movie I’ve recently seen, and it sheds new light and reminds me of the importance of theme come my web site

  18. Assignment Experts on June 27, 2022 at 2:23 am

    Is your assignments due in just a few minutes? Almost every student has faced such a situation at least once in their lifetime. With deadlines approaching and so many things to do in such a short period, it is natural to feel disoriented and search for assignment expert help services online. But do not freak out. We Follow the academic standards and format using the instructed referencing style. Hire our experienced assignment expert uk at your allocation and get plagiarism-free writing assistance.

  19. 토토사이트-오픈 on July 26, 2022 at 10:14 am

    I gotta favorite this website it seems very helpful ..You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views…hope more people will read this article!!..I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much.

  20. 토토사이트-부띠끄 on July 26, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog..Thank you for such a great article..Wow, excellent post. I’d like to draft like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article. This post has encouraged me to write some posts that I am going to write soon

  21. totopickpro on August 9, 2022 at 11:33 am

    This is one of the best website I have seen in a long time thank you so much. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us.

  22. totocannon69 on October 5, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    I take care of such information a lot.토토캐논

  23. mtsafe365 on October 20, 2022 at 3:06 am

    Its an amazing website, really enjoy your articles. Helpful and interesting too. Keep doing this in future. nice info for you only good info for you 먹튀검증

  24. Tony Charles on November 7, 2022 at 2:05 am

    If you’re looking for hoodie suppliers, Trade Key is a great option. They’re one of the top B2B marketplaces and they’ll connect you with suppliers who can provide the hoodies you need for your online store. The suppliers on Trade Key are reliable and offer great products, so you can be sure you’re getting quality hoodies for your customers. With Trade Key, you can find the perfect supplier for your business and get the hoodies you need to keep your store stocked and running smoothly.

  25. toto-cat on November 8, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Very good sir, i love to read your blog
    Keep it up

  26. oliver joss on December 27, 2022 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for posting this blog. I read this blog. it is really informative. I am a professional innursing care plan assignment help
    If someone is facing any kind of issues with nursing assignments, you can contact us.

  27. sportstototvcom on February 15, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article

  28. betmantotoorg on February 15, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this site is in fact pleasant

  29. SLOTMACHINESITECOM on February 15, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    Thank you for the very useful information.

  30. toto365pro on February 15, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    You’re really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is incredible.

  31. kpptest on February 26, 2023 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for posting this, it was unbelievably informative and helped me a lot. Well-written blog post.

  32. bacarasite on February 27, 2023 at 7:04 pm

    U maak hier soveel goeie punte dat ek u artikel ‘n paar keer gelees het. U sienings is meestal in ooreenstemming met my eie. Dit is ‘n uitstekende inhoud vir u lesers.

  33. Gwen on March 5, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Good example of on-theme writing

  34. totoive on March 14, 2023 at 7:04 am

    ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’, the last film in the ‘Jurassic’ series that changed the history of cinema, achieved the opening number one in 57 countries around the world.

  35. speedpowerball on March 14, 2023 at 7:04 am

    According to overseas box office records, ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ achieved an opening revenue of about $389.10 worldwide (approximately KRW 387.41 billion), and was sold in major countries such as North America, England, China, France, and Australia.

  36. SOP Help on March 29, 2023 at 11:10 pm

    I found your article interesting, I do have a different perspective on some points mentioned in this article. I would love to have a discussion with you on this topic and hear your thoughts on my perspective. Overall, thank you for sharing your insights. As someone who has been struggling with crafting a compelling statement of purpose for grad school, I found taking SOP Help from experts can be really helpful.

  37. toto365pro on April 8, 2023 at 3:36 am

    There is something so peaceful and loving about your art. It’s really delicate and calm, like warm tea.

  38. sportstototvcom on April 8, 2023 at 3:37 am

    I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you!

  39. jhon carry on April 12, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Management Assignment Helper Australia is a service that offers assistance to students studying management courses in Australia. The service provides support to students who are struggling with their management assignments or who need additional help to excel in their coursework. The assignment helpers are experts in the field of management and possess vast knowledge and experience in the subject matter.

    Best Assignment Help Australia service offers a wide range of services to students, including research, writing, editing, proofreading, and formatting. The service providers understand the importance of submitting quality assignments on time, and they work closely with students to ensure that their assignments meet the requirements and are delivered on time.

  40. betmantotoorg on May 9, 2023 at 3:48 am

    this is really impressive! thanks for share this awesome research!

  41. slotmachinesitecom on May 30, 2023 at 12:48 am

    Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it.

  42. toto365pro on June 1, 2023 at 2:48 am

    Just gorgeous… And somehow nostalgic.

  43. toto365pro on June 1, 2023 at 2:48 am

    Very value able post, I read the whole story when I start reading it.

  44. James on June 4, 2023 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for the post.

  45. toto365 pro on June 8, 2023 at 12:15 am

    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  46. small business blogs on June 20, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    Discover the cutting-edge world of technology, startups, and marketing at Tech City Studio. Stay informed about the latest trends and gain valuable insights. Read Now!

  47. on June 23, 2023 at 12:39 am

    My site also has lots of useful information related to the casino.

  48. on June 27, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    I hope they find each other…simply gorgeous work!

  49. totosafedbcom on October 11, 2023 at 3:29 am

    I need to thank you for this extraordinary read!

  50. ankush on November 1, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Very Nice Blog! Nursing Assignment Help is not just a service; it’s a partner in my academic success story. Their continuous support and guidance have given me the confidence to excel in my nursing assignments.
    For More Information Visit:Nursing Assignment Help

  51. ankush on November 14, 2023 at 1:13 am

    Fantastic Blog! Navigating through nursing assignments in Australia is no easy task, but services like nursing assignment help in Australia make it manageable. This blog offers great insights into how these services contribute to student success.

  52. Nikhil on November 17, 2023 at 11:37 pm

    Crafting a compelling Spouse visa sop is crucial to communicate the genuine nature of the relationship, emphasizing commitment and support. It’s a key document for a successful visa application.

  53. Nikhil on November 22, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    Crafting a compelling Spouse visa sop pivotal in demonstrating the authenticity and strength of your relationship. This document serves as a personal narrative, elucidating the genuine nature of your union and emphasizing the factors that qualify you for a successful spouse visa application.

  54. ankush on December 7, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    Great Blog! Information Technology Assignment Help is a game-changer! 🚀 ‘’ offers expert guidance, efficient coding solutions, and a holistic learning experience. Navigating IT assignments has never been this seamless. Kudos to the platform for empowering students in the dynamic world of Information Technology! 🌐💡 #ITSuccess #AssignmentHelp

  55. ankush on December 22, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    Nice Blog! Craft a standout SOP for USA studies with tailored guidance. Showcase your academic journey and career aspirations succinctly. Your SOP is your voice in the competitive landscape of US education. Seek expert guidance for an impactful SOP. 🎓🌐✨

  56. ankush on January 3, 2024 at 10:53 pm

    Nice Blog! Dive into the emotional journey of love with our expertly crafted Spouse Visa SOP. Explore the art of sharing your unique story for a seamless immigration experience. 💖✈️ #SpouseVisaSOP #LoveImmigration

Leave a Comment

Patronu aradığında sürekli hasta olduğunu söyleyerek iş yerine yalan söylüyor porno hikaye Patronu artık bu kadarının gerçek olamayacağını ve rapor görmek istediğini dile getirip telefonu kapatıyor türbanlı Olgun kadın hemen bilgisayarının başına geçip özel bir doktor buluyor ve onu arayarak evine davet ediyor porno Muayene için eve gelen doktor olgun kadını muayene ediyor ve hiç bir sıkıntı olmadığını söylüyor brazzers porno Sarışın ablamız ise iş yerine rapor götürmesi gerektiğini bu yüzden rapor yazmasını istiyor brazzers porno fakat doktor bunun pek mümkün olmadığını dile getiriyor sex hikayeleri Daha sonra evli olan bu kahpe doktora iş atarak ona yavşıyor ve istediğini alana kadar durmuyor Porno İzle Karılarını takas etmek isteyen elemanlar hep birlikte evde buluşuyor türkçe porno Güzel vakit geçirdikten sonra kızlara isteklerini iletiyorlar ve hatunlarda kocalarının bu isteklerini kabul ediyorlar seks hikayeleri Hemen ellerine telefonları alan elemanlar karılarına video eşliğinde sakso çektiriyorlar porno izle Hiç beklemeden sikişe geçen elemanlar hatunları değiştire değiştire sikmeye başlıyorlar.