How To Create Ideas For Your Story

A popular question most writers ask when starting out is “How do I come up with ideas for my story?”

Here’s a quick tip:

  1. Make a list of the movies you like the most.
  2. Maybe a list of your top ten of all time.
  3. Write them down and categorize them based on genre.
  4. Try to write a brief one or two sentence summary saying what each movie is about.

Now really think about why each of them are on that list. Remember which parts you liked the most and start writing down your own ideas. You can start small, like “A movie about a boy who sees ghosts.” or “A movie about the city’s most honest cop and how he became it’s worst villain.”

From there you build on that basic concept. Who is this boy? Who is this cop? What’s his story? Who or what is the villain? What is his overall goal? What stands in the way of his goals?

Alternatively you can read some of the best screenplays in Hollywood and watch the movies. Try to understand what made those movies work so well on paper and on the big screen: The 10 Greatest Screenplays of All Time – The Fiction Story Room

When you can answer these types of basic questions with interesting answers you’ll find you have enough to get started writing your story.

There are several books to get you started when it’s time to write.

Save the Cat

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

The Screenwriter’s Bible

How to Name Your Fictional Characters

Need More Tips For Writing Ideas?

Check out some other blog posts on how you can develop ideas for your stories.

learn to write stronger concepts, themes and loglines

Learn to Write Stronger Story Concepts, Themes & Loglines

There’s a saying that “Concept is King”. I tend to agree with this. Think about it. The concept of your story is the overall idea at its most basic core. It’s what makes us want to read your book, screenplay or see your movie after millions of dollars has been spent on developing it. You‘ve probably read a book or screenplay that was well written with lots of clever wordplay, but when’s the last time you have heard anyone excited about a mediocre concept? For me, concept is king, but execution is just as important. After all, what good is a cool idea if the author can’t tell the story in the best way it could possibly be told? Imagine if the movie “Karate Kid” was just a movie about a boy learning karate and receiving a black belt at the end to make his single mother proud. What if “The Godfather” was just about an old mob boss who ran his organization with an iron fist then just died at the end of the movie. How would that be any different from the thousands of mob flicks we’ve never even heard of with forgettable plots? These are concepts you most likely would forget an hour after watching them on the big screen.

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How to Name Your Fictional Characters (Plus More Than 2,500 Names & Meanings To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)

You know what’s just as bad as hitting a brick wall with the plot of your screenplay or novel? Hitting that same brick wall even harder when it comes time to give your protagonist or any other character that perfect name. Having the right name for your characters not only helps them to become memorable, but can help sell the story as well. Sebastian Dangerfield (“The Ginger Man”), Tony Starks (“Iron Man”), Atticus Finch (“To Kill A Mockingbird”), Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”), James Bond (“Casino Royale”)…the list goes on. Imagine pitching your screenplay or novel with any of these character names.

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