Welcome to the twenty-fourth of our Creative Challenges. WriteMovies’ 100-Day Creative Challenge 24 is about reinventing writing formats.
Guidance: For the next 20 minutes, use whatever method you like – thoughts and ideas, mind maps, diagrams or sketches, a sample of script, prose, poetry – as you prepare a creative piece, about:
An unexpected, original sequel or reboot for a popular film or TV series.
- As you work through this task, you might also consider how this activity relates to reinventing writing formats.
- Save or photograph your work as a document called “100DayCC24”. Then reflect on this experience and what it has taught you about you and your writing: what comes naturally to you, which aspects were easy and difficult, and the subjects, angles and attitudes that you like to focus your writing on.
- Share online if you like using the hashtag #100DayCC24 to compare to other people’s experiences and support each other, or submit to our Academy Lite if you’re a subscriber!
When you complete the Challenge – or if you get completely stuck – then look at the Feedback below!
There are only a small number of ‘story types’ in the world, and we’ll explore those in later Creative Challenges. And when a writer really nails a distinctive, memorable format for delivering one of those story types, they can create something that passes into the collective consciousness, and stays there – think of all the iterations of ROBIN HOOD, SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE GREAT GATSBY, etc etc. Sometimes reinvention is as easy as putting the same character and story into a different context, and then just working out the details of how to make it work there – that’s what’s happening in the modern reinventions of Holmes in SHERLOCK and ELEMENTARY, for example. But you could also tell a ‘Robin Hood in L.A.’ story – and if you don’t even mention the name ‘Robin Hood’ anywhere in your story, we might not even need to know that’s where your idea came from.
Prequels and origin stories for familiar characters can have strengths and weaknesses; we know where they end, but they also give us real insight into what makes them and their world tick, and to see them while they’re still new and vulnerable in that world. Sequels can be even more challenging because of the baggage and expectations they carry. What did you really think of MARY POPPINS RETURNS, BLADE RUNNER 2049, and all the TERMINATORS after T2? Many of them were decades coming. Sometimes we’d prefer people left our precious memories where they were – a beautiful relic of the past, not to be tampered with. Yet at the same time, if something new could recapture that magic we felt first time around… wouldn’t that be amazing?
Personally, I’d say that nobody has come of age until they’ve felt betrayed by a new STAR WARS movie… and as long as they keep making massive amounts of money, that is something we can keep sharing with generation after generation.
General tips and feedback:
Many writers, naturally, don’t find it easy to be creative ‘on tap’ – especially for work that they didn’t set themselves. But to write professionally, you will usually need to meet deadlines and requirements, that can’t be put off, for briefs you didn’t choose for yourself: even if you’re ill or feeling down, you’ll usually have to just find a way through, and get the results that are needed, to the quality that’s necessary. So the WriteMovies Creative Challenges are designed to help you find ways around the crucial issues of ‘block’.
We do this by setting a (deceptively!) simple brief, and encouraging you to use a variety of methods, approaches and creative products in order to find ways around it, and generate some kind of outcomes that might be useful to you in the future. Whatever state your mind and mood are in – energetic or tired, stimulated or bored, motivated or disengaged, etc – there are different ‘modes’ of creative productivity which you can engage, to make the best of it: editing your work if you can’t write, making notes if you can’t generate script, etc. Try a mix of methods to make the most of activities such as the Creative Challenges, especially anytime you get stuck: just keep adding notes, sketches etc freely, you can decide later whether any of them are useful! Also note that the brief is to ‘prepare’ a creative work – not to actually make it straight away, before you feel ready to! But if you’ve come away from this with a passage of prose or script or even poetry, well done!
Hopefully this activity will have shown you the potential value of our Creative Challenges, and the benefits of making a routine to complete them, and persisting with it day by day to gradually improve all aspects of your writing and to develop solutions to ‘block’, that you will become more and more proficient with over time. We recommend that you commit to fulfilling the 100-Day Creative Challenges, sharing your outputs to gain the support and feedback of other writers working on the same activities, and if you’d like expert daily feedback from us on this and much more, additional material, subscribe to the WriteMovies Academy Lite now!