Screenwriting : I think the best screenplay ideas come to me in interesting ways. by Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy

I think the best screenplay ideas come to me in interesting ways.

When I deliberate too much about I'm going to write next, the ideas I have are usually uninspired. I prefer it when something comes to me when I'm doing something unrelated to writing. For example, I was watching a documentary about jazz while riding a recumbent bike and got an idea for one of my best scripts. Or most recently, I was in church listening to a sermon and came up with a great idea for an edgy faith-based/sci-fi concept. The first idea I had came to me while I was riding my bike on the beach. I think the indoor/outdoor bike thing is working for me.  

Does this ever kind of thing ever happen to you?

Debbie Croysdale

All the time. Writing and Imagination is deeply etched in Psyche. Deliberation is necessary to put all ideas together but is secondary to original thought....The spark tends to be unplanned in the most unlikely circumstances.

Debbie Croysdale

Indoor/Outdoor yeah good idea....... Yin and Yan. I'm preparing for a mountain hike in Yorkshire dales/Pennines cos I know Amsterdam n London was only a small tad of inspiration!

Peter Roach

Good ideas spring from everywhere, for me the best source is science shows. I have a couple from short stories in Spanish, some from scary stories old folks told me to scare me when I was a child. I had one wile driving through Oregon at night trying to stay awake, worked out the entire story in my head.

Patricia Poulos

When I write I seem to transcend into a different world where no interruptions are permitted. I can't just allocate time (eg 9 -11am or 3 - 4pm) although most of my writing is done from 3.45am (God's time) until the creative process is exhausted. Yes. Ulcers wake you at about 2.30am - God at 3.45. Or, at least that is the time God has allocated for me.

Constance York

Walking, taking a shower, driving, listening to a song, listening to someone talk about their own story...

Laura Scheiner

When I'm writing I often wonder if I had sat down to write the same exact scene a week, day or even an hour later (or earlier) if the scene would have come out the same way or if different words would have come out of me, different jokes, different ways of dramatizing the same moment. The mind is a mystery. Do we generate ideas from within or capture them from the ether?

Mark Mccoy

For me I carry around my black book. And let my mind begin to brain storm. I call it THE BOOK OF THOUGHTS.

Chad Stroman

Yes. Recently happened when I was watching a show retelling an old mystery and the the newer, but still old, solving of that mystery. Gave me the idea of writing a dual plot timeline story covering those events. Then both stories meet up at the end where the one storyline becomes the mystery and the newer storyline solves it.

Patricia Poulos

Hi Laura. Yes, a dilemma. I believe that even if from the ether, it is the gut that filters - gut-feeling and sends it up to the mind for out-put. Hope this isn't too 'out-there'!

Patricia Poulos

Hi Mark, when I was in my early teens I would carry a little book in which I wrote all words I heard whilst travelling to work on the bus, so that I could familiarize myself with them to expand my vocabulary. Ideas just flow in and I hope to remember them later. If they're to be used, they resurface.

Patricia Poulos

How exciting Chad. Sounds like a great concept.

Chad Stroman

Patricia Poulos I hope so. Gotta do a lot of research both into the original mystery (it was a real event) and also into the story of how the mystery was solved. Gotta figure out if there are some decent plot points and interesting things to highlight besides just the human drama part.

Dan Guardino

Chad. A real event is what got me started in this crazy business. Everyone I told the story about a gay inventor/ con man who got conned into paying for his own hit thought I should write a book about it. I tried and sucked at it. I accidentally came across a how to write a screenplay and decided to give it a try. I wrote the screenplay and optioned it to John Travolta's manager/producer but eventually it died in development because Travolta had some previous studio commitments. I put it in the forget about it file and forgot about it until a couple of months ago a producer I know asked me if it was still available and told him I didn't want to sell it but I would produce it with his company. Anyway some times true stories are stranger than fiction. Good luck with your project!!!

Patricia Poulos

Hi Dan, testing me out or do you really want to play? If you're the guy with the car, welcome to my network. If not? Nice car by the way. Thank you for your request and welcome.

Pete Whiting

sometimes the stories can be right in front of us.....I had written several scripts with varying success and then one day I told my mate (friend for you non-aussies) about how I was working as town planner in a boring ex industry town and how me and the local reporter used to sneak out a night and do guerilla urban art since the local council would not support public art projects. He was like "dude, why are you writing those other scripts - this is what should be a movie. what a crazy true story"

Rutger Oosterhoff


When I intentionally drink too much coffee, neutrons fly uncontroled and without logic in all directions, and I ask myself WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF... After having a BASIC IDEA I do a handstand on my feet and try to find logic in...ehhh... 'unlogic'.

When the next day, I still like the LOGLINE that comes out of this insane proces, I could have something to work with. But nine out of ten times I have to admit to myself "yes, it was an idiotic idea", but that ONE TIME 'could' just be magic.

Victor Titimas

I saw a Japanese music video and beneath, an announcement saying they're going on a US tour soon.

Had a story idea(feel free to use it): A Japanese band is coming to US for a tour, but one of them owes Yakuza money and has a plan to use the tour to escape to safety and never return home.

But Yakuza has agents everywhere. There is a plan to liquidate the singer, plan which must be thwarted by a NY police officer who hears about it from a street informer who also happens to be in conflict with these gangsters. A story featuring quick paced action with shootings, maybe martial arts, car racing, and multiple locations...:)

Patricia Poulos

Hi Chad sounds challenging and exciting.

Patricia Poulos

Hi Victor, sounds great! When do YOU intend starting this. It sounds exciting. I guess we are members of a great group whose imaginations take them to unimaginable limits (forgive the contradiction) and even beyond this world.

Laura Scheiner

I have a friend whose a writer and producer who started lying about his age when he was 29 he looked like he was 16 at the time. Neither his IMDB page or Wikipedia page include his birthdate.

Varun Prabhu

Ideas come to us in ways we least expect...I should say...when we least expect.

I have sourced many from situations I never thought I would. It could be a event, a place, a person, a circumstance, anything.

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