Idea Generator #1: Family Stories

This is the first in a series of ways to generate ideas for projects.

I grew up hearing my parents’ family stories. They talked about what it was like when they were growing up, about their parents’ childhood and their parents’ parents. They told stories of long dead ancestors. Some were in history books. Others were forgotten by everybody but us. At family gatherings, we tell stories to each other about events from our shared past. There are decades long running jokes that make us laugh every time.

Your past is great material for screenplays and novels. My family stories could support a television network! Once you start thinking, you will be surprised how cinematic your history is. Here are some questions to get you started:

· How did your parents and grandparents meet?

· Where did they grow up?

· Or go to college?

· What did they want to be when they grew up?

· What did they end up doing?

· How did they come to the United States?

· Do you have any war heroes in your family?

· Any criminals?

· Any scandals?

· Great love stories?

· Who is your favorite relative? Why?

· What is the origin of your longest running family joke?

If you are stumped, interview a family member or friend. I guarantee you will learn something cool.


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