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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Greatest films NEVER made

Another advocate of the 'storydust' way of collecting ideas was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Although well known for novels and short prose (including Benjamin Button) he did also create treatments and scripts for Hollywood - although mostly uncredited - and mostly begrudgingly!

The he used was simple - a 'notebook' - jotting down ideas within it. Not just complete ideas but also observations that could grow into something.

I discovered this due to the 'new writing' quarterly, McSweeneys (issue 22), giving 31 of these ideas to writers and challenging them to ignite the story dust and make it shine. I recommend McSweeneys as a great source of inspiration and is generally your daily dose of 'inspiration from the 'red circle' in one place. Here is their introduction...

During F. Scott Fitzgerald's time at Princeton, he began keeping a notebook of musings, sketches, snippets of conversation, descriptions of girls, and story ideas for future use, all meticulously cataloged. Time ran out before he was able to realize many of those ideas. Over the past year, we presented his list of 31 unwritten stories to a select group of writers—Sam Lipsyte, Judy Budnitz, Salvador Plascencia, Diane Williams, and 13 others. Each writer chose a premise and wrote his or her own realization of it.

And here are some of the ideas from the notebook itself...
  • Wildly seperated family inherit a house and have to love there together.
  • A funeral: His own ashes kept blowing in his eyes.
  • The tyrant who had to let his family have their way for one day.
  • The dancer who found she could fly.
  • Girl whose ear is so sensitive she can hear radio - and the man who gets her out of the insane asylum to use her.
  • A man hate being a prince - goes to Hollywood and plays nothing but princes.

The second one is my favourite!

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