ScriptBully Magazine

Screenwriting 101: How to Find a Screenplay Idea That Doesn't Suck

Former screenplay reader and optioned screenwriter, Michael Rogan, shares some insights on how to find the ultimate screenplay idea, and jump-start your screenwriting career.


San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/02/2015 -- As anyone who has dabbled in the field of screenwriting knows, finding a compelling, marketable and emotionally satisfying screenplay idea can be one of the most difficult things a writer can hope to do. (And oftentimes more difficult than the actual writing of the screenplay itself.)

And according to Michael Rogan, author of "Screenwriting Made Stupidly Easy" and the founder of ScriptBully magazine, this is due to the fact that most of the screenwriting how-to information out there deals with mechanical processes, like formatting a screenplay.

And not with the most important process of all: finding a great idea for your story.

"There's a ton of stuff out there about how to format your screenplay scene, or the best way to organize your Act II," said Rogan. "But this is kinda like a mechanic spending all their time learning how to paint your car."

"It can make your car look nice, but without an engine you won't get far."

It was this dearth of screenplay brainstorming information that inspired Rogan to package his years of experience, as a screenplay reader and optioned screenwriter, into his new Udemy course - Movie Idea Creator | Your 7-Day Guide to a Killer Screenplay Idea.

In it he covers topics such as "What Every Story is Really, Really, Really About," "How to Find a Non-Sucky Hero," and "Story Structure in 7 Simple Steps."

But perhaps the biggest teaching point Rogan tries to emphasize - beyond the fact that most "good" movie ideas start out as "bad" movie ideas - is that trying to "game the system" by finding a movie idea guaranteed to sell just doesn't work.

"Churning out a boring, safe, paint-by-numbers story may have worked 10 years ago," said Rogan. ""But the film business needs to be bold and shocking to get people's attention."

And, according to Rogan, there's no better way to "catch" the attention of producers and agents then tell an original and unexpected story. And that all starts with an origional and unexpected movie idea.

"Newbie screenwriters don't realize the advantage being out of the business," said Rogan. "All they gotta do is take some creative risks and tell the story they were meant to tell."

"And let the film business stuff take care of itself."

For those interested in possibly finding that perfect idea to jump-start their screenwriting career, they can check out the Udemy course: "Movie Idea Creator | Your 7-Day Guide to a Screenplay Idea."