Generating Ideas for Writing - Movies

Movies are different than television shows in that they should be complete, whereas a television show has the next episode. There are a lot of caveats to this because a lot of movies are parts of series and a lot of television shows are an hour long, but there is still some truth to it. I think that focusing on plot may be the best place to start when coming up with a movie idea. Let's see how it goes.


I have an idea inspired by history that I think is pretty solid.

The Vice President of a large space confederacy kills a political rival in an illegal duel. His political ambitions wrecked, he colludes with a general (who is also a spy for a rival nation) to form a private army and conquer the confederacy. In his attempt he is abandoned by the general and captured. Because the government doesn't want some of the troubles that may come with killing a former Vice President for treason, the high court lets him go and he moves to a far planet.

That seems like a solid idea for a movie, television series, or mini-series. I feel like something has to change to give it a little more punch though. There is so much there I feel like I might be able to just remove some things. What about . . .

The Vice President of a large space confederacy kills a political rival for the presidency in an illegal duel. His political ambitions ruined, the VP colludes with a general (who is also a spy for a rival nation) to form a private army and take the presidency by force. Just before the attempt the general abandons him. He loses the battle and is captured. The high court exiles him.

Maybe that works. Let's try again.

Two of the founding members of a space confederacy both have their ambitions set on the presidency next term. In an illegal duel the current Vice President kills his political rival, and his chance at the presidency with him. He colludes with a general (who is also a spy) to form a private army and take the presidency by force. The general abandons him, his army is defeated, and he is captured. The high court exiles him.

There really seems to be something there, but since it is a competition I don't want to submit it unless it comes off really well.

An illegal duel ends with the Vice President still alive and his political rival for the presidency dead, but the public outrage dashes his hopes for winning the election. He colludes with a general to form a private army and take the presidency by force. The general turns out to be a spy and abandons him, his army is defeated, and he is captured. He is put on trial for treason and exiled from the country that he helped to found.

That seems pretty good. I think I am going to sit with that a while and see if it still seems so good when I look at it next time. I will keep working on coming up with ideas and stories. You are welcome to join me at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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