Inspiration for a novel or screenplay is all around you. Every day the mind naturally takes note of odd juxtapositions, inappropriate contexts and unlikely “what ifs” that crop up in overheard conversations, two television commercials that butt up against each other or folded over newspaper in which the visible part of the headline is “just not right.” Any time you encounter a “tilt” moment during your day, jot it down, as it might be fodder for your next story. For example, you might trip over a concept (computer geeks are transported to the old west), a plot twist (a detective discovers he is investigating his own murder), a situation (Ponce de Leon still lives today), a thematic topic (fracking), a character study (an aging rock star who is losing his licks) a line of dialog (“Just cuz somthin’s free don’t mean you didn’t buy it.”), a title (Too Old To Die Young) or any other creative notion that makes you think, that’s a good idea for a story! What’s more, any of these ideas might be a topic for conversation within your story, as opposed to the overall idea for the story itself. If you train yourself to jot down any unusual notion before it disappears into the block hole of the mediocrity that surrounds it, you’ll never be short of inspiration.
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