One idea can produce two ideas, but they both take a different slant, that’s the difference. For example, take this premise, as comedy for a Hollywood blockbuster that would get one star from the critics, depending on how well it was done, yet with the potential to be a bomb. A man spent ten years of his life around a lot of people and got so sick of them that he decided to isolate himself from people because he enjoyed the other half of his personality better and settles down with him, but his friend tries to get him back into socializing with people and to see the good side of humanity. In the end, he comes around to see the good side. That’s a silly comedy. But I can change the ending and the whole tone of the idea to sound like an arty drama. In the end the person stays away from people for the rest of his life and there is no seeing the good side. That’s a German drama. I would write neither.
Sometimes taking on too much means a writer must cut down somehow without the feeling of selling one’s self short. I know this myself. I have too many ideas of what I can write. The answer is in decision, as much as possible…To make a decision. How? It will come…
You’ll just know, it will become clear. The how’s, the when’s. The why’s. It will all fit in place. You’ve even made the decision before, you know, with those other ideas ten years ago. The new ideas will be used or discarded in much the same way. I speak to myself.
Every parliament has some form of debating chamber, where the country’s leaders get together and fight out the issues and the bills that may pass into law. There is always a vote on some matter and the majority wins. This very public sphere, where the issues get debated and won and lost, is where writers, reviewers and others are in. In fact, after years of reviewing in some way with an eye on common ground between the film and my ideology, reviewing is actually about what I would accept or not accept in the public sphere, much like taking a side on an issue in a debating chamber. It’s not finding common ground or fitting in with a film’s point of view if the cap doesn’t really fit. But why bring this on film? Because I am a reviewer and film is not only an art form, but films are out in the public sphere, and deal with ideas, themes, morals, philosophies, persuasions, and not every idea I would support if I was in the debating chamber. So, reviewing should reflect what I would or wouldn’t support in the public sphere, like I was taking a side in a debate. I think I will take this on board. It doesn’t mean I go to the country’s parliament to ban something, but to put my point of view in the review on something I would or wouldn’t support in public. One is human and may or may not enjoy art, but one is not made of human jelly, with a mind compromised of the soft stuff.
There’s an easy way to file away ideas and thoughts. It’s not by filing ideas and thoughts for different genres into different notebooks, but simply keeping a notebook for everything that comes to mind. I’d been doing that way, but realized the put everything in one place approach is better. I’ve been keeping my Bible reading notes in one exercise book. This was for the purpose of jotting the ideas I get from reading the Bible which could become devotions, meditations and reflections. When other ideas came to mind, say a story idea that jumped into my head, I had to find a different notebook, or piece of paper, to jot the idea down. But it would be quicker just writing the idea in my devotional notebook because that was handy. I don’t like mixing various ideas around in a notebook intended for one thing, though. It makes much better sense to include everything in one notebook, doesn’t it? So, all one has to do is headline each notebook entry for what kind of idea it is: be it devotional, story, article, poem, etc.
And if one is the run, one may keep a recorder, or something like it, for easy recording when ideas come to mind. Keep the ideas in one place on the recorder and indicate what each idea is, whether story, article, poem, etc. Much better. All in one place and headlined for easy reference. All one needs now is a good notebook and/or a digital recorder. Digital recorders hold more information so spending on one is probably cheaper in the long run than buying notebook after notebook. May be just invest in a simple digital recorder for note-taking, if one likes, if that’s easier when on the run. Or write it down, if that’s preferable.
There are one or two useful things that came my way, but that does not mean the sender of such advice has got it together. I reckon there’s quite a few chinks there, but there’s that one piece of God-send that is going to be useful. So, it can help–in writing, and anything else where the cap fits.