Does this happen to you?



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  • Does this happen to you?

    I woke up this morning and suddenly a great idea for a change to one of my screenplays popped into my head. Great! I'll make the change today.

    Now after taking care of my dog and logging in here, I cannot remember the idea. I am frustrated. Maybe that advice about keeping a notebook and pen next to the bed is good advice.

  • #2
    I don't trust that I'll remember anything, so I have paper and pens everywhere, and even sponge-stick alphabet letters on the shower wall.

    Your unconscious story problem-solving can be especially helpful overnight, so when you have such an idea, don't get up and start feeding the pets and taking care of things right away. They can wait a couple minutes. Lie there quietly in the same position until you get a chance to really remember your idea and write it down.

    You may be able to get the idea back if you lie in bed in the dark and quiet and try to repeat the same conditions in which the idea came to you in the first place.

    Maybe even better, think about that same script before you go to sleep tonight, but be prepared with pen and paper if your unconscious works for you again overnight. Good luck!


    • #3
      This happens to me all the time. Unfortunately, even when I have a pen and paper by my bed, by the time I pick up the pen, the idea is gone. It could be there the split second before, too. It's so frustrating. It's like it's in a part of the brain that the conscious mind just can't access.


      • #4
        I write down things that pop in my head and when I wake up from dreams but most of the stuff is not that great in the light of day or outright gibberish like "cat dance ice cream on moon".


        • #5
          Cat dance ice cream on moon
          Damn, Deus, I pitched that idea at Lightstorm six months ago!

          (Sold it for $250,000 against a cool million.):hat


          • #6
            This has happened to me more than once. So now I make a point to have pen and pad handy. I've even been known to wake in the night and right down pages of action/dialog.

            Now, I may find a better way to write something the next day...but at least get the phrasing and jist down asap!

            Just yesterday while watching T.V. I got a great idea for a comedy...I started talking about the premise out loud and had to grab my "IDEAS" pad to jot it down quickly.

            I have found that the initial spark of ideas that come to a person are the purest and it's a good idea to get them down any way you can, because you may never remember them the same way again.


            • #7
              Another way of recording them when you're on the go is with your cellphone, many models of which have a voice memo option, which allows you to use it, in a limited fashion, as a dictating machine. I find this handy at the gym, where I often get my best ideas.

              Everyone just stares at me as I babble to myself: "...then he kills the guy, but the FBI's right behind him and..."


              • #8
                Yes, the ideas coming to me part.
                Usually the night before I have to get up early or when I'm not feeling well and really need to rest.

                Ideas kind of mill around in my mind and then suddenly like a bolt I have something clear and great!

                I lie there in bed thinking about it, working it around and finally I get up and write it.
                Usually it's a whole scene, sometimes it's a rewrite/problem fix, but always it's extensive and I end up working for several hours.

                I drag myself out of bed and do it because I know otherwise it will get lost. There is just something about clacking those keys that keeps things flowing.
                I do write them down, I carry a notebook with me EVERYWHERE, but I also keep a little note pad under my bed.
                Sometimes the idea isn't fully baked and so then I write it down to be worked on later.

                The WORST thing to have happen though is when you've written a great segment and then have to get up.
                While your gone a kid comes along and deletes the whole thing. And you haven't saved it yet because, well, you were in the ZONE and just didn't think about it.
                Then nature calls and..............
                No matter how you try you can't get it back. You can't repeat it exactly.
                Sometimes the new version is better but you really have no way of knowing.
                I HATE that!!!!


                • #9
                  I have found the older I get, the more I need that notebook and pen, Bill.

                  Get a small Moleskine. They are great.


                  • #10
                    i love the moleskine notebooks!

                    but i always feel like i need to write something very special in them.


                    • #11
                      Definately recommend moleskin to anyone looking for a tiny pocket sized notebook. It'll fit within almost any jacket/jeans/slack pocket.


                      • #12
                        Bill -

                        The moleskin notebook is okay for now. But when you sell a script, you'll want an assistant who will write down all of your ideas for you, so you won't have to expend any valuable energy or get writer's cramp or that carpal tunnel thing. He'll even sit by your bed at night waiting for you to mumble in your sleep so he can capture your wisdom at the exact moment it occurs.

                        Fifty-thousand a year plus benefits will be great. Thanks.


                        • #13
                          i don't know if i would want a guy with doggy-poo sitting next to my bed all night.



                          • #14
                            Depends on what he's doing with it, though, doesn't it?


                            • #15
                              the little digital recorders are around 40 bucks now, and they're incredibly convenient, anywhere, anytime.

                              i got this one:


                              i like staring at people suspiciously and then speaking into it in a loud, but unmistakably diabolical, whisper.

                              i make my eyebrows move, too.