Working on your idea

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  • Working on your idea


  • #2
    Sounds like your characters are not fully developed. So close your eyes and think about your characters. Put them in all kinds of situations (in your head) and see how they react. Maybe you could start an argument between your characters (in your head) and see how they interact and argue with each other. Flesh out your characters enough and they will start telling YOU what to think about.

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    • #3
      Stop thinking! Write! You don't necessarily have to write your screenplay. Write a treatment. Write dialogue. Put pen to paper, or thumbs to keyboard.

      The creative process is a very strange thing. A story seldom "occurs" to you while you're trying to think of one. For most of us, the actual process of writing stimulates ideas. A lot of people have learned other tricks to stimulate ideas, and few of them have anything to do with sitting around, trying think them up.

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      • #4
        I develop ideas with a sort-of journal. Stream of consciousness, random thoughts. I write about whatever... character, theme, plot, etc.

        Eventually, that shapes into a step outline, then a treatment, then a rough draft.

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Buy a notebook and a good pen.

            For every script I've written, I have at least one entire notebook full of hand-written ideas, characters, backgrounds, scenes, dialog, outlines, etc. For me, this is where the creative process begins - so I totally agree with the earlier comment that actually taking the time to physically put something on paper is the best way to start. Those ideas running around in your head need a place to stop, and that stopping place is on a piece of paper. Once you give those ideas a home on a page somewhere, you clear out space in your mind to let new ideas emerge. Having a notebook also serves as a written history of your thoughts - allowing you to backtrack and view the evolution of your ideas. Most of my notebooks don't make sense to anybody but me - and there is no logical way I go about organizing them. But I am constantly amazed when I re-read those notebooks how a even a certain word or scribble triggers a wellspring of former thoughts or revelations that certainly weren't't in my conscience before I opened the page. My fingers don't touch keys until I have at least a solid nugget of a story and characters in my notebook. That is, unless I'm posting something here of course.

            Best luck,
            Todd

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            • #7
              No wait let my have a chance at this.

              You can't write because you're not inspired to write and you don't understand enough about the material your writing about. Before you say duh think about what I just said.

              Most writers go through a period of what I call "what the heck do I do now phase" because they no longer feel connected with the material before them. Is this you?

              Don't just write if you don't have the inspiration to write. If you do you will write uninspired material that your going to heave anyway.

              So what must you do? You must get inspired again! Go to the library and read about the subject you're writing about. Do research and use your imagination. Go through your own experiences and muster what you can find.

              Then the story will jump out at you like never before. This not trivial but the consequence of hard work.

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              • #8
                ... and the key story dialogue

                I second Todd, except that I rarely start a story (novel or screenplay) formally before I nail in my head the key dialogue (it could be only a two-word exchange between the protag and another character, but as meaningful or cutting as hell) that will pulsate the theme and spin everything in a particular direction.

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                • #9
                  Reverse-engineering

                  Screenwriting is part pure imagination, part problem-solving. If your imagination isn't working overtime giving you your story, you can be working actively on your problem-solving. Here's what I mean.

                  You have your inciting incident. You know what you want your story to be about, and you know a couple of things that happen along the way. You want to make your protagonist's struggle to get from the beginning of the story to the end interesting for the reader, full of surprises, and difficult for the protagonist.

                  He needs tasks to do, and he needs to run up against obstactles. What does he have to do? You can start from your ending. What's going to make your ending spectacular and satisfying? Then how is your character going to get to that point? What will he come up against along the way, and how will he meet the challenges?

                  To practice how to do this, look at a movie you like, and read the script. How did the writer set up in the beginning what was going to happen in the end? What kinds of things does the character have to do to get to the beginning of the story to the end? How does he change and grow along the way? And how can you make your character go through the same sort of process, only one we haven't seen before in another movie?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Reverse-engineering

                    Depends on the script. Minimum? I'll think about it for a couple of months, keep a notebook, take my idea in to both of my writing groups for their impressions, and write a couple of outlines.

                    Then there was the historical drama. That was six months of research, many books bought, many libraries visited, many outlines written. The first outline was about forty pages. Then twenty-five, then fifteen, then six. Notebooks, index cards, insanity. Then I wrote the script. That was two years ago. I'm still buying books.

                    kullervo

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                    • #11
                      Things I do.

                      * I have a small note pad in my pocket
                      * I pen and file card under my pillow.
                      * I have my step outline posted on my wall as a
                      power point slide presentation, nice to stand and read.
                      * I use a tape recorder and talk myself through it.
                      I sometimes list a second time in fast forward while
                      reading it again.

                      I've kept a diary and logged the creative process,
                      I star some ideas and then sort them to chapters with
                      color dot stickers that I stick on the page.

                      45 File Cards to write down your step outline really helped me?

                      Kite.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Things I do.

                        I keep a pen under my pillow too. Then I wake up and find strange doodles on my face. This is my creative process. But I have to look in the mirror.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Things I do.

                          yeah, i'm with the crew here...

                          You need to get idea's down when their fresh, even if they look bad later. As said before you just need to write and get your mind working, like a muscle it's needs to be exercised

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                          • #14
                            One of the best stories I ever heard was told by Jimmy Carter (ex Prez).

                            He was describing a kayaking race in Australia that takes about 24 hours to complete.

                            One year an interview asked the winner how he was able to navigate the river at night. The winner responded, "I paddled as far as I could see, and when I got there, I found I could see a little bit further."

                            Even though my recollection may be a bit fuzzy, it's a philosophy I've tired to follow in life as well as in my writing.

                            Pen + Butt in chair = Script

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                            • #15

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