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09/07/2005 - DON'T WRITE SOMEBODY ELSE'S SCREENPLAY
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Once people find out you're embarking on a screenwriting career you'll find that some of them will offer you story ideas. They're probably not really "ideas" but rather situations. I had a friend recently call me and tell me that he had an idea for a story. He had done this a number of times over the years. None of them were very good largely because they were notions, rather than stories.

His latest was basically "When is enough enough?" He was referring to money. I asked him for more details. He responded that "That's the story. You do the rest." I politely responded, as I always did, that there wasn't enough to build a script around.

If this happens to you, unless the idea they have is truly amazing (which it probably won't be), be ready to politely say no. When in doubt just say that you can't relate to the material and move on.

If you feel sorry for the person or if you happen to be going through a dry spell with your own ideas, don't be tempted. Say no. Remember, it's not your idea. It's the other guys. If he likes it so much, let him write it.

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