Your Idea Machine (Screenwriting Blue Books)

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Your screenplay is going to begin with an idea. There are good ideas and bad ideas and commercial ideas and personal ideas. But where do you find ideas in the first place? This handbook explores different methods for finding or generating ideas, and combining those ideas into concepts that sell. Over 175 pages filled with idea generation techniques!

The Idea Bank, Fifteen Places To Find Ideas, Good Ideas And Bad Ideas, Ideas From Locations And Elements, Keeping Track Of Your Ideas, Idea Theft – What Can You Do? Weird Ways To Connect Ideas, Combing Ideas To Create Concepts, High Concepts – What Are They? Creating The Killer Concept, Substitution – Lion Tamers & Hitmen, Creating Blockbuster Concepts, Magnification And The Matrix, Conflict Within Concept, Concepts With Visual Conflict, Avoiding Episodic Concepts, much more!

Professional Screenwriter William C. Martell (19 produced films) takes you into the world of ideas and high concepts, showing you step-by-step how to find the best idea for your script.

Product Details

  • File Size: 307 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: First Strike Productions; Revised Edition edition (July 24, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 24, 2011
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EE649S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

Customer Reviews

Awesome for the Left Brain Dominant

12 people found this helpful.
 on December 18, 2011
By Amazon Customer
There are lots of books on writing structure out there, but very few (that I have found) on creativity. Although this book is aimed at screenwriters, this fact does not at all prevent novelists from absorbing Martell’s excellent advice on generating great ideas. Strong left-brainers like me will probably find the entire book’s pinpoint focus on idea creation refreshing and invaluable.

He knows, and knows that he knows

6 people found this helpful.
 on September 7, 2011
By Thomas Mongle
Martell knows more about successful screenwriting than any 10 other *gurus.* But MOST IMPORTANTLY, he can communicate what he knows to you. And that’s what counts. He must have digested every movie made in the last 80 years, and can teach you to differentiate between what works and what doesn’t. Since you’ve only got 24 hours in a day, spend as much of it as you can with someone who can help you. Suggestion: consume everything this guy produces. Looking forward to more Blue Books on Kindle.

What Is a Good Idea?

2 people found this helpful.
 on August 18, 2015
By K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction
You might not guess it from the covers or the (lack of) proofreading, but Martell’s books are absolute gems. Although aimed at screenwriters, the vast majority of what he suggests is just as pertinent to novelists as well. Here, he offers wonderful tips on not just optimizing the ability to come up with ideas, but also on figuring out what a good idea is and how to hammer it into a unique and viable story premise.

Ideas are even more important than writing the screenplay…

One person found this helpful.
 on July 29, 2016
By spence.munsinger
Anatomy of Story by John Truby shows how to pick apart your premises, your ideas for movies and expand them or alter them or bring them to where they are likely to be worth writing. This book, Your Idea Factory, fills in the gap between saying “Come up with a bunch of ideas as premises” and “Ok now see if they can be made worth something”. Bill defines movies as awake shared dreaming. That basic conceptual understanding of what screenwriters are doing – channeling wakened dreams onto a screen with light and magic – guides creating ideas. The book shows why trends come and go and why it’s really outside of Hollywood’s control and marketing. What makes an idea, how to find new and really really good ideas anywhere at all, and how to manipulate those ideas so they are worth working with in a screenplay.

Outstanding!

3 people found this helpful.
 on August 18, 2011
By D. Erickson
It’s amazing how much great advice and humor William Martell puts out daily on a non-paid basis. Don’t have $3 for a book? Visit his website. Want to chat with him? He’s on facebook and twitter. He couldn’t be friendlier or more accessible and he earns a living writing screenplays. He’s not a “those who can’t do, teach” seminar perennial, he lives it and gives back to other writers. And he not only tells you what to do to write great scripts, he gives examples – LOTS of examples. Even a fool like me gets it. Can’t wait to download more of the series as they come out. Thanks, Bill!

just what I was looking for

 on December 24, 2013
By Christopher Kokoski, Author of THE CHALLENGE: A SIMPLE WAY TO SHARE YOUR FAITH WITH ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME
While I have never lacked ideas, this book contained many ways to generate unlimited ideas, and to filter out the ones worth pursuing.

I love it !

 on January 21, 2016
By malefice
I read a lot of screenwriting book and Martell is the best .

Best $3 I ever spent!

One person found this helpful.
 on June 9, 2012
By Amazon Customer
I love this book. In fact I’m getting ready to read it a second time because it’s THAT important. As a screenwriter with eight completed scripts I’ve come to the realization that most of my scripts are not high concept (that’s why they haven’t sold). This book helps you come up with high concept ideas. I really don’t want to waste my time anymore writing scripts that don’t have a chance of selling. (Yes, I’m passionate about writing and do it for the love of writing but I can easily be passionate about a high concept script that has a higher chance of selling!). This book has me seeing ideas everywhere. It also helped me to see that many of my previous scripts didn’t have enough conflict. This book has really solidified, for me, the importance of starting with high concept ideas that have conflict to carry the story. I can’t wait to get my next idea and start writing my next script!

very good

One person found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2012
By RP
What I respect most about Bill Martell is that he’s not some never-was trying to convince aspiring screenwriters that if they just follow some formula, they’ll write a script that sells. Martell is not about formulas. Instead of trying to come up with some paint-by-numbers crap, he analyzes the things that make up actual produced scripts (both his own and others most of us are familiar with), including the ideas behind them, and explains the difference between an idea for a movie and an idea for a movie that actually has a chance of becoming a movie. He also gives the readers several exercises to help then generate their own ideas, all the while noting how important it is to have several great ideas at any given moment.

Great habit-forming tool for generating ideas

One person found this helpful.
 on September 11, 2012
By Frank
I teach screenwriting, and after having gone through one semester of theory, this is the best book for rolling up our sleeves and generating idea after idea after idea. The book offers excellent advice about where to look for story ideas, as well as how to be disciplined and constant in recording our ideas. Culling ideas from all the sources the author suggests soon becomes a habit, and eventually readers find themselves sitting on a considerable and valuable idea bank: ideas for plotlines, characters, dialogue, settings/locations, shots, gags, clues, sound effects – and much more. Starting the screenwriting process with a full and continuously growing idea bank makes everything easier, and better. Great first (and ongoing) step in writing any screenplay.

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