Sunday, April 22, 2007

5 ways to find inspiration

This is something I wrote over at my other blog.

Ok you want to write a script - in fact you are desperate to write a script and you sit down and stare at the computer or notepad and nothing… nada. Here's some ways of accessing the muse.

  1. Carry a notebook and pen with you at all times. Something which can be shoved into a pocket or a bag easily. The writer Anne Lamott keeps index cards about her person at all time. This way when you are struck by something say an overheard conversation in a bus you can quickly jot down the idea and capture it.
  2. Give yourself space for the muse to visit. Ie allow yourself a bit of living and what I call noodling time. Give yourself to walk between appointments, do something you’ve always thought might be interesting or fun to do. Somehow allowing ourselves to play and have fun keeps the imagination alive.

  3. Don’t just go to the cinema any thing you write will then be influenced by what you see rather than being original - mix in museums, theatre, music- the off beat. In the same way vary your inputs – don’t just read film books browse the other sections of the library and bookshop. My first film came out of reading a review copy of a non-fiction book in the publisher I worked in. (Similarily if you are a poet don't just read poetry)

  4. Become known as a screenwriter in your circle. Once people know that you are a writer they will offer you stories – I kid you not. Again take notes (one of my short film scripts was a heavily revised and changed take on a friend’s really weird childhood).

  5. Do what writer/director Adrian Meade does - go through newspapers not nationals but local papers tear out all the weird and off beat and intriguing stories. 'Two brothers transport their dead dad in an ice cream van.' He puts them in a large trunk so he knows that if he runs out of ideas that he can always look in it.Strangely enough he never has. (This does't work with online papers as the serediptious factor is taken out - they must be real old fashioned paper papers).

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