Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where Did You Get The Idea?

I have had a rash of submissions lately that seem to have been written while sitting in front of the TV watching a movie. No, the writing isn’t necessarily bad, but as I read through the story, I know exactly what movie the writer was watching and exactly where in the movie they are. At that point, I quit reading and write that big ugly R word on the outside of the envelope.


Now, before all of you start writing in with that argument of “there are no new stories out there” let me say a few things. There are new stories but the themes of human nature are consistent. Please note I used the word THEME here. The stories however are new and it is up to you, as a writer to create the story. Remember the idea called “the creative process”???


Build on some of those ideas but please be careful. Too often, the idea of building on the idea turns into recycling the entire prior story. Let me give you an example of stories that have come across my desk in the last month and the movies I have see them use.


  • Tombstone
  • Top Gun
  • Marly and Me
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Marriage Proposal (I have a lot of those)
  • LOST (Pick and episode)
  • Steel Magnolias
  • And yes… TWILIGHT (the kicker was the person saying their story was similar to it)


The idea with using stories and movies as inspiration is just that. It is inspiration only. Find a character that you like and use that as guidance. Of course if your character is Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, you may wish to re-think it.




Scott C. Eagan



1 comment:

  1. Great post.

    I've noticed that when writers critique other writers, they often react negatively to out-of-the-box stories. They are especially harsh when a story doesn't seem to follow expected parameters for genre.

    Hopefully agents aren't that narrow-minded!