I have recently watched the TV miniseries Bag of Bones (based on the Stephen King novel of the same name), and I am confused about the significance of its title to the story. I will refer to it as a "film" in the following, as it was shown in one part and advertised as a movie where I watched it, despite apparently being originally produced as a "miniseries".
The IMDB FAQ on the film contains the same question, but the answer does not really provide sufficient explanations:
Where does the title 'Bag of Bones' come from?
In the movie, Mike quotes from Thomas Hardy: 'Compared to the dullest human being walking on earth, the most brilliantly-drawn character in any novel is nothing more than a bag of bones.' He then adds: 'The only problem is that sometimes I feel like nothing more than a bag of bones myself...a bag of bones without the energy or talent to do what I thought I was born to do.' It also refers to a message that Mike receives from Jo: 'Lie still bag of bones', which helps him in the end.
This would suggest that the title has three anchors in the story, and I recognized all of them while watching the film, none of which make much sense to me:
Compared to the dullest human being walking on earth, the most brilliantly-drawn character in any novel is nothing more than a bag of bones.
That means that characters in novels are less "alive" than any real person by orders of magnitude. Fine. What's the relevance to the story?
The only problem is that sometimes I feel like nothing more than a bag of bones myself...a bag of bones without the energy or talent to do what I thought I was born to do.
That refers to the protagonist's writer's block and general unproductiveness. As such, it seems to be the most story-relevant mention of the term "bag of bones" of these three, and still, it is an awfully weak connection. Any story with someone being unproductive, possibly in particular someone suffering from writer's block or being at the verge of death due to physical exhaustion or mental possession (The Shining and Misery come to mind ...) could be called "Bag of Bones", so this seems quite unspecific.
Lie still bag of bones
I totally did not understand that. True, it was a sentence that was repeatedly uttered by the protagonist's deceased wife (or rather, her ghost), but what is it supposed to mean? If it addresses the protagonist, why should he "lie still"? His wife wanted the opposite, namely for him to become more active and productive again. If it addresses the ghost of Sara Tidwell, then again, why should her bones lie still, if the solution was to not leave them lie still, but to destroy them? (With that said, note that the dubbed version of the film I watched translated "Lie still, bag of bones." to something meaning "Dissolve, bag of bones.", which IMHO made a lot more sense, despite skipping the hidden pointer to lye.) I did get that the word lie was pointed out as a homophone to lye, which was the substance ultimately used to get rid of Sara Tidwell's bones, but that again has no connection to the term "bag of bones" (the message could just as well have been "Lie down in the attic." or "Lie beneath a tree.").
Therefore: What is the meaning of Bag of Bones specifically with respect to the story of the film?