I am constantly looking for inspirations for new stories and new scripts. Contrary to what some people may believe, coming up with stories does not happen with a snap of a finger. I have notebooks full of ideas but only a handful of them are developed.
Finding the idea for my next story is never easy and I am never sure where it’s going to come from. So I never stop looking. Sometimes, ideas come from other scripts, conversations, newspaper articles, paintings, carts and new discoveries.
But when I am stuck, there are a few sure ideas that will definitely get the ball rolling.
1. Read fiction. I used to read a lot of fiction before I started grad school. But since then, I’ve read nothing but trade books. Whenever I need to keep my mind off the craft, I turn to my fiction books and suddenly, just like that, the ideas start to come. Most of the time, I don’t end up developing about 90% of it. But it doesn’t matter because there’s still 10% of the ideas left to develop.
2. Museums. I especially love sculptures. Because more people crowd around paintings and drawings and rarely notice the sculptures. So I spend more time there and my imagination goes wild. I’ve actually developed more ideas and written more scripts based on ideas inspired by sculptures.
3. People watching. I love to watch people. Sometimes I listen to their conversation. But their body language is more fun to watch. Besides, the fun part is not eavesdropping but pretending what they could be talking, fighting or thinking about. Whether it’s true or not is never the point.
4. Going out. I don’t go out all the time because I work a lot. But I do get together with friends a couple times a month and share stories. And most of those stories are interesting enough to be developed into something more.
The point really is to gather as much ideas as I can and hopefully, there’ll be one there that’ll be worth developing.