Thursday, December 27, 2007

I dislike dentists.

I was sitting there today, the oral hygienist scraping away at my teeth and prodding my gums, asking me, "Is your mouth *sensitive?* Does this hurt?" I could not answer due to the pointed metal instrument that was making rounds between my teeth.

By the way, for those people who like free screenwriting software, I just downloaded Celtx's new version of its software. It's got a whole bunch of new features that I find incredibly delightful and good for both being productive and wasting time.

I've recently discovered Brett's blog, A Bucket of Love, which is fun reading because he's more involved in the industry than anyone I know in *real* life and because he's one of this year's Nicholls finalists (next year, I can see it...). Throughout the holidays he's putting up posts about his week in LA for the Nicholls ceremonies, but I found this one post in particular intruiging and not because of any reason connected with the Academy. In it he talks about meeting his agent, surprising them with a finished script, complete with catchy title and witty tagline, and all the various going ons that those of us without agents (yet) can only dream of. I think my favourite part is when one of his agents asks if she's given him the "20 Ideas in a Week" assignment and Brett responds by handing over a flash drive with 42 script ideas. Forty-two.

A question screenwriters get asked a lot (real screenwriters, of course) is where they get their ideas. And while I can see that sometimes prove to be more difficult for the creative mind, I'm finding that the real question is where *can't* you find ideas. In my previous post I mentioned that I was hanging out in the airport and jotted down four or five ideas for feature length scripts that I all really liked. Of course, I think almost all of them were ones that had been percolating for a while, but I think it shows how easy and simple it is to start coming up with ideas. I think writers should always be actively trying to come up with new ideas, regardless of whether or not they are currently working on a project. I'm going to try to follow Brett's lead by doing two things.

1. Centralize all of my story ideas in one location, in one file. This will also allow for easy manipulation of ideas until they're ready to be worked on seriously. Sometimes some ideas need a little percolation. I had an idea for a short for a long time that was only recently completed by a news story I followed. Some ideas are like that and need a little time before they can be moved along in the process. A word file is a great place for them to wait and percolate.

2. Come up with at least one or two decently fleshed out ideas each week. I use my writerly nature to excuse all sorts of unconscionable nosy behavior anyway. That combined with being alert to the stories in the news, in my life, and spending some time just sitting around thinking of stories should be more than sufficient to sustain this new habit. I chose a career where I get to sit around and think up loglines and call that a productive day. Isn't that beautiful? I'm starting this week. By the end of Saturday night, I will have one new, likeable screenplay idea. I will let you know how that goes...

I see a brightening horizon for my productivity on my screenplays. Why is this? I got a new MacBook for Christmas. Am I crazy happy? Yes, yes I am. : )

1 comment:

Brett said...

I always have concerns about those screenwriters who claim to have difficulty coming up with fun movie ideas. I drive to get milk and three ideas smack me en route.

Yeah, a lot of those ideas suck, but so do a lot of movies.

Which gives me an idea....
.
.
.
B