Spiritual Healing and Screenwriting

Jen Grisanti is an LA-based script consultant who’s mantra is finding story solutions from within. It’s relatively easy to learn the mechanics of writing a script, but it’s an art to tell an truly emotionally resonating story.

In their crudest form, many consider films to be an exploration of a person with a problem. How do they deal with it? Will they succeed? How does this experience relate to the audience? Think about what prompts a writer to tell a story. Many believe the strongest stories arise from a writer’s position of anger and hate, rather than love. The emotionally wounded share their experiences as part of a greater healing process.

Jen believes that strong writing is connected with spirituality and healing. For some of us, spirituality is a path to deeper meaning. In order to get to this place, the writer needs to do the work it takes to heal, by getting to the heart of the story.

When we think about the times a story has moved us to tears, it is often because the writer is coming from an evolved place of consciousness. When we go through a myriad of feelings from joy, triumph and accomplishment to betrayal, loss and trauma. Screenwriting is a strong place to escape, explore and define these feelings in an unfettered way. It helps us to pull apart and make sense of what happened. It helps us to see ourselves and our world in a clearer way. We hope that it teaches us to not repeat patterns that cause us pain.

When we do the work with healing, we become more spiritually connected to our story. We start to see our own involvement and responsibility in what we create. We begin to explore the bigger life questions that haunt and intrigue all of us. Writing is more than self-directed therapy. We have a duty to our audience too.

In the book, Writing For Your Life, the author, Deena Metzger writes, “At the root of our lives is a question, a series of questions, a quest, some fundamental concerns or obsessions; the mystery, the story, and the meaning of our lives reside there. A story also has a question at the core of it, and the question leads to the mystery within the story. The deeper one goes into the story, the more one learns, the more things are revealed, the deeper the mystery. Perhaps the story has no other function than to ask the question or to deepen the mystery.”

I work with writers on a continuous basis. I encourage them to go deeper into their work by connecting with their well. Their well is where they will find their gold. It is a place where their body of experience lies. It is their truth. Learning to fictionalize their truth and bring it to the page is the goal of the writer. When you do the work to heal, you connect to yourself at a deeper level spiritually.

Deena Metzer goes on to write, “…A writer develops a body of work, and we come to recognize the characters and stories she creates, but this does not mean that the writer is repeating herself. Rather the opposite. Over time, the questions the writer is asking become deeper and more penetrating until the questions, not the answers, become his signature.”

When we do the internal work to process, heal and manage our life, it will show up in our story. Our story is about the journey. The journey involves going inside to express to the outside world.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Sabina says:

    I think the most powerful films are the ones that ask questions – because very often those questions reverberate long after the movie is over. Case in point being The Fountain by Aronofsky. And that’s what I sometimes feel is lacking with Kauffman. He seems to like a clean ending a little too much. Somehow I find it a little arrogant to be so final even with fictional characters.

    Thanks for the thoughtprovoking post!

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