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  • #16
    Welcome to the world of the writer Tomasz. Ideas are far harder than execution, that's why a lot of people know how to write a screenplay that might be technically sound but have never sold. Like most of the screen writing gurus.

    Immerse yourself in story. Don't get bogged down in detail. Decide what kind of story you want to tell. Drama? Comedy? Adventure? Sci-Fi? Do nyou have characters in your head you want to use? Can they fit into your chosen genre?

    Tattoo this on your forehead. You are a STORYTELLER. Now find your story.

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    • #17
      I really sympathize with what you're going through. It sounds to me like perhaps the thing that's missing is trust in your own voice. It's terribly scary to open up to what you have to say and trust that it will come out. It's even scarier to imagine what others might think of it. I can understand worrying that what you have to say will not be unique, but keep in mind that no one ever in the entire history of the planet has lived your exact circumstances, had your exact experiences, holds your place in history or community or has had your exact thoughts in the context of your life and what is going on around you. And no one ever will. Yes, we all share experiences, and in that commonality we find the groundwork for stories that others can relate to their lives. But storytellers find that connection between unique self and shared experience.

      So, what do you want to write about? What do you want to say? What concerns you, inspires you, makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you happy, intrigues you? What do you love? Or who? What stories do you think the world needs to hear? What characters do strangers need to meet? Is it something in your life, something you've experienced? Is it something you wish you could experience? Do you want to explore the idea of "what if?" or "why?" Does something about politics or society trouble you? Freewriting can help you connect with that.

      Then, how can you communicate this idea or explore this personality in a way that people will find interesting? What situations can you show? What words can be said?

      I look to others and myself for inspiration for characters. Sometimes I'll pick a stranger and try to imagine that person in different situations. I used to write extensive character profiles, but the more I've lived with characters, the more I find them inside of me. They're people I know because I care about them and want to tell their stories. I may not write it in a bio ahead of time, but it takes simply connecting with a character for me to know whether he would date a woman who doesn't shave her legs or whether she would enjoy skydiving. It takes time, though, and practice with the process of going through character-building. I'm still learning, too, so don't feel bad if the process isn't easy. Sometimes I write simply to get to know my characters. Sometimes, in the process of writing, I realize I have to go back later and revise because my character has revealed something to me that I didn't realize.

      It's clear from your posts on the board that you're willing to work hard, which is good. Continue to learn structure, analyze screenplays, study stories similar to what you want to write, use exercises to practice technique. But don't forget to also say what it is that you want to say. To rewrite, which everyone does, first you must write.

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      • #18
        Ideas don't necessarily make good stories...

        Everyone, at one point in their lives believes they have a great idea for a script. But more often than not it never develops into anything. The fact is an idea is a static thing. It often does not carry with it enough narrative substance to generate a story. Good stories start with, are sustained by and centered around a character(s) with a motive, obstacles to overcome in order to achieve their goals and a personal transformation they experience as a result of their journey. Your inciting incident must be what places them in this situation and sends them on their journey, but it is not what the whole script should be about. It is only the match which starts the fire. Your job is to tell the story of the fire and how your character deals with it, overcomes it and is changed by it for the better.

        Try thinking like this:

        Inciting incident places character A in an unexpected and new situation in which he must accomplish B. By doing so he overcomes certain obstacles which in turn help him to overcome his own person hurdles to becoming a happy (or happier or law abiding or normal) person.

        The best way to find a personal obstacle for your character to overcome is to find something that you have experienced yourself or feel strongly about. In doing so you will be able to write about it with authority and depth.

        BTN

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        • #19
          Todd is absolutley dead on! I have a notebook dedicated for each project I'm working on....I write scene ideas, dialogue, ramblings...scene placements, etc. anything that comes to my mind on that particular project. I also have numerous versions of ideas for log lines or even casting ideas....I also date each page so I can track the creating process for my projects...the timeline for your creation can be very surprising...even helpful.

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          • #20
            Here is a problem I come across each and every time I use a notebook for my screenplay, so maybe my fellow notebook users can help me out. How do you go back and organize all of your information, or do you just use it to ensure you have a firm enough grasp on the concept?

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            • #21
              Ideas/ Notebooks/Naked Sheep

              I write an outline (usually on a single sheet of paper), then I take a 3 ring binder and tear the sheets out of my notebook and put them in the binder in "scene order". (I use notebooks with 3 hole punch pages).

              Basically, you do whatever works.

              Here are some story creation tips:
              www.scriptsecrets.net/tips/tip334.htm
              www.scriptsecrets.net/tips/tip166.htm
              www.scriptsecrets.net/tips/tip230.htm

              - Bill

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              • #22

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                • #23
                  Thanks for good answers

                  If it resonates with you and you feel excited about it then do it.

                  Two weeks from now something may hit you which is even better. Don't think that what you are writing is cast in stone. You are only tied to it for as long as you think it is a good idea.

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                  • #24
                    Is there someone or something interesting around you?

                    The ideas for a great story are around you everywhere. Tune into them.

                    A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance meeting with a young man who I found out is a brilliant pianist, composer and producer of Christian music.

                    I asked him where he was from originally.

                    He was literally found in the garbage in Seoul, South Korea, as a very small child. Through the miracle of adoption, he was brought to the United States by a loving family and has turned his natural musical talents into a profession.

                    That's a screenplay.

                    I got a recent e-mail, with many photos, from a friend, about a beautiful young woman who had both arms amputated as a child after a horrible electrocution. She is model beautiful and has even been filmed in commercials.

                    She drives, shops in a supermarket, teaches aerobics, changes her baby's diapers (she's married), plays piano, puts on her lipstick and makeup ALL WITH HER FEET. You ought to see a photo of her lifting one leg high enough in the supermarket to pick a box off the top shelf.

                    She uses NO special equipment or prosthesis, EVEN DRIVES HER CAR WITH ONE FOOT ON THE STEERING WHEEL and ONE FOOT ON THE GAS/BRAKE.

                    Not only is this woman's story a movie, she could star in it. She is beautiful.

                    For God's sake, get off the Internet and look around your neighborhood. You'll find a movie somewhere close by.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Is there someone or something interesting around you?

                      He was literally found in the garbage in Seoul, South Korea, as a very small child. Through the miracle of adoption, he was brought to the United States by a loving family and has turned his natural musical talents into a profession.

                      That's a screenplay.
                      Well. Not really.

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                      • #26
                        Here is a problem I come across each and every time I use a notebook for my screenplay, so maybe my fellow notebook users can help me out. How do you go back and organize all of your information, or do you just use it to ensure you have a firm enough grasp on the concept?
                        I write a brief outline, based on where I've decided to take the story. This is my first real attempt at structure and organization for every script. Then I take a green pen, go through all of my notes and put a mark next to the ones I'm going to use. Next to the mark I place a b, m or e, to designate which part of the story each specific note pertains to (b = beginning, m = middle, e = end). Then, when I write my detailed step/scene/sequence outline, I just go through my notebook and make sure I include every note in the outline... in its proper place.

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                        • #27
                          Everyone I related this story to was blown away by it. It's certainly a compelling story idea to regular people who have not been thoroughly consumed by cynicism. I'd say finding and rescuing a small child from the garbage in a foreign country would be a pretty powerful visual. People who have not been completely jaded by life might find the story compelling if properly written as a dramatic screenplay.

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                          • #28
                            Heh, I'm consumed with cynicism and jaded by life.

                            What you've got is a powerful visual, but that's it. You've got 5 pages at the beginning of a script. Yes it's compelling, but it's not a story.

                            I think what you meant to say is that you can spark ideas from everyday life. But you still have to find the stories in them.

                            Personally I wouldn't touch your idea, nor would I recommend noobs touch it. It's weeks worth of research no matter how you look at it.

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                            • #29
                              I think I wrote that script about the Seoul boy who becomes a professional musician... except the inciting event of being in a garbage.

                              Didn't I?

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                              • #30
                                Yeah Boog. But you were a little closer to the source.

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