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How to turn an idea into a story

Do you ever feel that you have a certain idea lodged in your brain, tossing around, egging you on to be told to masses? While you may consider it as the most compelling idea ever, the first step to turning that idea into cinematic brilliance is getting around to the process of turning that spark into a full-fledged story.

Here are five basic principles to morph an idea into a story/screenplay that will get studios or production houses to greenlight it:


1. Brainstorm
Think about what makes your idea unique? Who will it be aimed at and in what medium will you present it? Ask yourself, why would you want to share this story? If you are not convinced then your audience will not be either. This is an interesting phase for a writer as you can toy with the idea and all its possible outcomes. Create a mind-map or word association if it helps to keep your thoughts flowing as you figure your way around the story.


2. Create an outline
Once you have zeroed in on your idea, it is time to create an outline of the story. The reason for you to have an outline is to know the purpose of sharing this idea with the world. This does not have to be detailed or lengthy – this outline should be a synopsis of the story. One that will act as your guiding post through the writing process. Any time that you veer away or feel lost, this outline will bring you back on track.


3. Develop your characters
Once your idea takes flight and you know the places it will go, work on developing your characters. A plot alone will not help to keep your audiences engaged. You need to create characters that are relevant and identifiable, ones that viewers will emotionally invest in. Ask yourself – what motivates the protagonist? Who is your antagonist and what are they after? What will be the point of conflict and what is at stake for both of them?


4. Research
Once you have your outline and characters ready, delve into their world. Spend considerable time researching, to create a world that your audiences will believe in. If your story revolves around real life incidents or real-life characters, then be prudent to have all the facts documented. Get a fact checker to reconfirm it for you. If you are writing a fantasy and your story demands suspension of belief to a certain degree, give your viewers the reason to do so.


5. How does it end?
Every great story has a great ending. So, ensure that you know how your story ends before you start writing. Make sure that your ending closes the loops in the story and gives closure and if you are aiming for a cliff-hanger ending, then make sure it builds the suspense for a sequel.

Turning an idea into a story comes with a lot of time and skill. Join our screenplay writing course to learn tips and tricks from the best in the industry. For more details visit here.