September 10, 2009

What I’m working on, 9-10-2009

Last night I finished brainstorming 19 ideas for TV series pilots. (19 was the goal I had set for myself. 20 just seemed impossible.) Most are in the fantasy/sf/horror area, but the few that aren’t surprised me. Especially one that’s more, um — well, it’s kind of — okay, it’s romance!

Shut up.

I don’t know that I’ll do anything with any of these ideas. It was more in the nature of an exercise. But maybe. If I never write a TV pilot, some of them might make good stories. How do I know which ones? If I began imagining not only a situation but vivid characters, and maybe an episode or two, or even a story arc for a whole season, that’s an idea worth further attention.

My process:

  • I downloaded a word list of nouns, and created a Linux command-line alias… too much detail. I had my computer throw random pairs of nouns at me, and let those spark my thinking.If you’re a Linux user and want to do the same, download a word list of nouns and then run a command (or create an alias) similar to the following:
       shuf -n 2 /home/jdoe/Documents/writing/files/nouns.txt

    This works in Ubuntu, anyway. I don’t know about other Linux distributions, but I think shuf is pretty common.

  • I daydreamed.
  • I browsed news sites, and when something snagged my thoughts, I mind-mapped it.
  • In a couple of instances, I cannibalized old ideas that never came to anything.

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