Box Your Ideas

Is Your Idea A Brief Flirtation Or Life-Long Commitment?

By Daniel Dercksen

When you fall in love with an idea the inspiration could be a brief flirtation or or a lifelong commitment.

Writing a story begins with a certain degree of chaos. Ideas are half-baked.

The process of writing is a process of moving from chaos to order…How quickly you move will depend on your commitment to writing, how much you know about the process and the craft of writing, how disciplined you are, the difficulty of your idea, the amount of research you need to do, and how much you value your own creative process.

“Any seed that becomes a passion means a start, and if it stays a passion, a finish. The seed is what all the upcoming struggle resolves around,” says Linda Seger in her book ‘Making a Good Script Great’.

Art is choice. Choice making is at the heart of all creative expressions.

The storyteller’s choices are limitless. Writers have more ideas than they know what to do with.

Professional storytellers don’t wait for ideas to hit them. They seek inspiration, discover how to get into the mood and be receptive to ideas, then write them down and store it up.

Ideas Need To Be Stalked, Targeted, Captured, Categorised, And Married.

All you need is to be receptive. Fleshing ideas out is the real craft. Being sufficiently motivated is the greater challenge.

The hard part is developing ideas into stories, articles, or books – and writing those works to completion.

The form is immaterial; recognising the idea is what’s important.

All ideas have one thing in common: They grab your interest. If something grabs your interest, there’s a chance it may be of interest to others. An idea worthy of publication must have appeal for a large number of people.

An idea should deal with specific aspects of a subject.

Identify your audience; study your market, consider who will be interested in your topic, or who is involved in the topic.

Writing a story is a process, an organic, ever-changing, continuing stage of development.

When you sit down to write, you’re beginning a process that will end months, perhaps years later with pages filled with words, dialogue and description in what is called a screenplay/ stageplay or novel.

  • The idea is the most important.
  • Structure is second.
  • The screenplay/ play or novel itself are least important.
  • A story and screenplay, play or novel can be fixed. The idea can’t.

You have to come with an idea that is:

  • Is deeply personal
  • Will arouse specific emotions
  • You feel passionate about
  • Expresses a specific view of life
  • Embraces universal qualities
  • 600 – 800 million people worldwide will pay to see or read.

That is your calling as a writer.

Your life as a writer should ideally be informed and fuelled by inspiration, driven by passion, and not seen as a ‘job’, or something you are forced to do.

You are a writer because you want to be a writer and tell stories, and need to, not because you have to.

Box Your Ideas

The first thing you have to realise about writing your story is that all stories begin on a blank page.

Seek inspiration every day, all the time, and make it your mission to find something every day that inspires you.

Leave your comfort zone and explore the endless possibilities life, nature, people and its miraculous possibilities have to offer freely and with abundance.

It could be anything, and nothingness will evolve into something greater you could have ever imagined.

That single moment of inspiration can ignite a journey that will last a lifetime.

Make a point of finding something or someone that inspires you every day.

Now write a page on what inspired you today.

So, how does the Idea Box work?

If something inspires you, or a new idea hits you like a bolt of lightning in the middle of the night, write it down. Immediately.

If you write it in a notebook, a piece of paper, or on your laptop, chances are that it will remain buried.

Out of sight out of mind, and soon your drawer or computer hard-drive becomes a grave yard of worn-out and tired ideas that could have planted the seed for a bestseller, box office sensation or hit play.

Step 1: Create an Idea Shelf: Make this idea shelf visible so that you can easily see it, and face your ideas each day.

Step 2: Buy some Box Files: Fill the box with scribbled notes or printed out pages, and give the idea a name. If you find a CD, DVD, clippings from newspapers and magazines, or photographs, add it to the Idea Box. You can even open a box for Dialogue, Concepts, and Characters…You filling the box with valuable resources.

Step 3: Inspect Your Idea Box: Keep a regular watch over your idea boxes, just as you would keep an eye on social media notices, or a new email.  Keep adding info, keep adding new boxes, stock your idea shelf well.

It’s tangible. It’s real.

After a few weeks, or months, when you feel like taking a look at one of the boxes, suddenly remembering the inspiration behind the idea, and you find the box only has one piece of paper in it,  the truth will hit you like a brick wall:

That Idea was merely a brief flirtation, a passing fancy and one night stand.

If, on the other hand, the idea has grown into 3 or 4 boxes, you have begun an affair that will last a lifetime,  even long after the film has been made, book published, or play staged.

This is when your story starts calling you and, you better be ready!

That’s the magic of Boxing Your Ideas.

Boxing Your Idea forms part of The Write Journey Course

“Beginning writers tend to develop the easiest idea that comes to mind, rather than working hard to generate original ones,” says Karl Iglesias in his book The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters. “Many beginning writers don’t understand how important it is to be original. Reading hundreds of scripts and listening to thousands of pitches showed me how most of them were derivative of other movies, with familiar characters, uninteresting ideas, and clichéd plot twists.”

Copyright@ 2018 The Writing Studio / Daniel Dercksen