A while back I was fortunate enough to attend a local nerd convention. It featured a panel discussion of one of my favorite movies, The NeverEnding Story. Noah Hathaway (Atreyu) and Alan Oppenheimer (Falkor, G’mork, Rockbiter) were in attendance. Noah Hathaway mentioned that he had recently written a few scripts. So, during Q&A, I mustered up the courage to talk to my childhood crush, and asked him where he got his inspiration from.
He said that a friend recommended a book, Save the Cat!, which Noah read, then re-read, and re-read a few more times. Then he started writing.
Talking about the author’s method of using index cards to organize: “And he just took all the psychological mumbo-jumbo and he just made it like Cliff Notes, man, like it was awesome. And in two weeks I had my first screen play written. And for months I had been sitting staring at a f-ing computer.”
He keeps a pad by his bed to make notes for thoughts he has in the middle of the night. He will often write down things as they occur to him.
“Get out and do stuff; inspiration hits you wherever you’re at. If you sit and wait for it, it probably ain’t gonna come.”
So there you have it. Research and then do. Just write.
Bonus answer from the great Alan Oppenheimer, “I had a pad by my bed and I wrote down, ‘great idea.’ In the morning I couldn’t remember what the great idea was.”