Posted by: steveonfilm | July 21, 2008

Where do you get inspired?

There I was, sitting in the movie theater, waiting for The Dark Knight to start and I got this vision in my head. Some guy walks up the steps, pulls out a gun, and then just shoots me in the face.


Why? Who knows. But that’s what popped into my head.

Three hours later I was home on my Macbook typing away. Somehow that single bullet into the head turned into my fingers vomiting out a third of an outline for a screenplay.

Now I’ve got the entire first act outlined, the mid point more or less set up, a few pinches tossed in, and a third act that is starting to come together. I’ve never worked this quick before on an outline. I think a lot of it has to do with the stuff I’ve been practicing over the last year or so. The exercises. Thinking critically. Structurally. Visually.

What started with a bullet in the head has turned into a struggle between good and evil, with the very forces of Heaven and Hell involved. Epic? Sort of. Fantastic? Probably. Fun to write? I’m certainly looking forward to it. It’s turned into the type of story that most guys dream of writing.

But it still comes down to taking advantage of a moment I was inspired. I kept the thought in my head. Left it simmering. And the first chance I got to get it town on paper (so to speak) I did it. I just started going. Writing. Skipping deails I didn’t know. Then filling them back in when they popped into my head. It just felt so good.

I know it’s going to be one of those fun projects you work on, knowing good and well nothing will ever come of it, but doing it nonetheless.

Which leads me to the topic of my post, where do you get inspired? What great moments have come and just set you off?

If you read this, I’d like to know. Please drop a line in the comments section.




  1. Great read, Steven. And I can’t wait for your screenplay to be produced…you’ve got my appetite wet for the story!

    I have been wanting to write a novel (as many do) for years, and a few weeks ago, I had a dream that was so vivid, I watched a plot formulate that I couldn’t wait to wake up and write down. So, I’ve got it captured…Now I just have to figure out how to write a story!

  2. Game on man! Sit down and write that stuff. I doubt I’ll ever get anything produced (even with the help of a few people I know out in Hollywood), but that’s not the point. The point is to write. Because if you don’t you’ll always ask yourself “what if,” and that’s a terrible feeling.

    My advice, buy a book with some exercises to teach you how to structure a novel, and then just sit down and go. First time I wrote a screenplay I did it in 4 days and popped out 135 pages, all without ever taking a class or reading a book.

    Was it any good? Hell no. It was terrible. But the point is I did it. After that, the whole writing thing didn’t seem so intimidating anymore.

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