Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I discard 90% of the ideas I come up with almost immediately, mainly because they're not fully formed, or simply because they're too loony to put on paper. But I never waste an idea. OK, I know that's an oxymoron so let me explain.

All ideas are valuable even if they can't be used straight away. It's very rare for an idea to pop into my head fully formed, when they do it's an awe inspiring moment. Mostly those ideas are just bits and pieces, a line of dialogue, a character, a funny situation, a visual, but every single one of them is valuable and should always be written down.

Occasionally I go through these ideas and if I'm lucky they will connect with others and grow into something special. My optioned thriller feature FAITH started out life as just an idea for one character. From there it grew. Other ideas, old and new, attached themselves and the project morphed into something real and substantial. I can't remember where all of the ideas came from, in fact I can only remember the original one, but the point is all those little forgotten ideas came together to make something special.

That's why you should never waste an idea. Make sure you always write it down, no matter how small it might be, or how insignificant. I always have a notebook and pen within reach and any idea, no matter how small or silly gets written down. I never know when one might spark further inspiration. I have created more ideas than I will ever get around to using, but if I need a little inspiration I am able to go back through my notes and look for that one nugget that will spark my imagination. I even have one character I created years ago, whom I love and adore, yet I still haven't used him. I'm waiting for the right situation to place him in. I haven't found it yet but it doesn't mean I won't someday in the future. I don't want to waste him as he's special. Of course he may never actually get used, but I hope he will one day.

Where do ideas come from? Anywhere! It's that simple. They can come from newspaper articles, an overheard conversation, a situation I find myself in, something that has happened to people I know, the odd characters I meet along the way through my rather odd little life, but mostly my ideas spring from that half sleep state, that edge of consciousness that lets my brain tell me stories just before I drop off into proper REM sleep. It's difficult to remember them all and I've always wondered if I've dreamt an Oscar winning screenplay and forgotten it.

How do you get your ideas and where is the strangest place you've come up with one?

1 comment:

JJ Cocker said...

Sounds like the idea has hooked you. Good luck.