The Enigma of Ideas

A common question around writing is “Where do you get your ideas from?” How I wish I knew the answer. I guess if think back to any kind of script or fiction I have written, I suppose the idea has usually come from being somewhere -a place or an event where I’ve been immersed in a situation or a destination. So, the stimulus of an environment helps. Then I tend to ask myself the ‘What if” question. What if x happened here right now, or what would happen if that person over there wanted z etc. Once I’ve got a rough idea of something that sparks an interest, I then play with the idea, trying to make it more resonant.

Robin Mukherjee wrote in Art of Screenplays, that you need to test your idea for that deep resonance. “Do you feel something move in the deeper, darker aspects of your understanding of what it is to be human….if (so) then it is likely to make others respond in the same way.,,if not….focus the beam a bit more.”I think this quote is really key. If I can’t find something about an idea that connects, I can’t get writing. It’s hard to explain and it’s a gut feeling, but it’s really important.

But, it doesn’t mean you throw out all ideas until you get that once that chimes with you. If you’ve got the semblance of an idea, just keep digging a little deeper to see if you can hit on something.

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