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 "...Good Ideas For Stories" 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post "...Good Ideas For Stories"
Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters – Good Ideas For
By Kal Bishop

The principle for writing good screenplays begins with good
idea generation and then the use of structure to extrapolate
that idea into a coherent story.

Sources of Good Ideas

a) Ideas that push cultural boundaries work well. Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, The Defiant Ones,
On the Watefront and so on were all controversial in their time
and still very watchable movies.

b) Ideas that tug at the emotions and arouse passions. Imagine
the worst thing you would want to happen to you. What are you
most embarrassing moments? What causes the most pain?

c) Cathartic events. Protagonists engage in conflict and
challenge but the final act is always cathartic.

d) Aspirational and self-actualising events. Make the audience
move toward their ideal selves.

e) Fantasy and escapism. Take the audience to a new place,
we're tired of this world today.

f) Humour. What are the funniest, most ridiculous, most
hypocritical, incongruous, bizarre, irrational moments of life.

g) Education and morality. Teach them something or show them
how we should be.

h) Special people. Take us into the world of people we fear or
admire. Show us the lives of people who have travelled to
places we dare not or cannot go.

i) Romance and love. How sweet it is when we can get it.

j) Different people. Show us how different people live. Compare
and contrast.

k) The power of the group. Show us how we are more intelligent,
able and greater together than alone.

l) Ambition. Is it pleasure or poison. Does it fulfill or

m) Friendship. How real are our friendships. Do we know who our
real friends are. What happens when they betray us.

n) Intellectual cross pollination - search the media,
information sources...

o) Simply choose a story and write a screenplay. Good ideas
will come to you during the project - make sure you capture

Structural Templates

a) The classic template is the HERO’S JOURNEY, consisting of
106 sequences with more than 30 in the final act.

The Hero’s journey can be reformed in an infinite number of

b) The THREE KINGS, where the three rivals battle it out.

c) The LONE WOLF, where the Hero succeeds without he aid of
allies, the Goddess or the Shape Shifter.

d) NO WAY BUT DOWN, where an anti-hero falls from grace and
does not recover.

These topics are further discussed and Story Structure
Templates and other Managing Creativity and Innovation products
are available at

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering
your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA

About the Author: Kal Bishop is a management consultant based
in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and
software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and
Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and
innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los
Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a
passionate traveller. He can be reached on


This article was re-printed by permission.

[Note: Due to size restraint, the subject line's title had to be abbreviated. - Appologies to Kal Bishop. - Admin.]

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:06 pm
 [ 1 post ] 

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