12 Warning Signs You Might Have A Great Idea

Are you someone who has a great idea? Perhaps a lot of great ideas?  If so, you may have a difficult time deciding what project most deserves your attention.

Having a lot of great ideas is a great problem to have–and it is a problem.  It’s hard to succeed when your creativity is spread thin.

How do you decide what to work on?

Here are twelve criteria to help you decide which of your projects should have your attention and focus.

12 Signs That You’ve Got A Great Idea

  1. You understand why you are the best person to write your idea.
  2. You can express your story clearly in one sentence.
  3. You look for opportunities to pitch and learn from people’s reactions.
  4. You look for flaws in your idea so that you can make it better.
  5. When you say the title of your project, people’s eyes light up.
  6. The theme of your story is clear and personally meaningful to you.
  7. You feel like you have to write it, and you also feel that you get to write it.
  8. You procrastinate less because you’re excited to get back to writing.
  9. You know how your story has been written in similar ways before, and you know what makes yours different.
  10. You have ideas for other projects in the same genre.
  11. When someone asks you a question about your story that you don’t know how to answer, you see that as an opportunity to improve weak areas in your pitch, your project or both.
  12. You feel like you’ve become a better writer from working on this project.

Whether you’re writing on assignment or on spec, you can feel confident when you’re connected to the material, excited to get feedback, and feel that writing the project is its own reward.

Do You Know Your Screenwriting Personality Type?

Screenwriting Personality Quiz

Discover Your True Screenwriting Personality, and How It Affects Your Work - Over 406 Screenwriters Have Found Out Theirs.

Take 60 Second Quiz

Discussion About 12 Warning Signs You Might Have A Great Idea

  1. Susan H. McIntyre

    With my brain full of ideas which zing and zoom all over the place, this is a great help to me. Thank you so much! Well written, and well thought-out post.

  2. Mark Martino

    While I know the following quote is not your style Stephanie, I can’t resist adding it to your wonderful list:

    “Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.”

    Howard Aiken
    primary computer engineer for IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer

  3. Matthew Simpson

    I love the feeling a great idea gives you: you suddenly have a clear purpose and are eager to get to work. Love it!

  4. Alek

    Good points, Stephanie…
    I read each of them and found only point #10 is absent in my vision of a process,
    everything else is similar as I feel it myself,
    still, you’re the first who touched this with your own way and it’s close to me, thanks

  5. Lee Forgang

    I’m writing four fact based historical features. I’ve assigned priority to the one that has the most personal meaning to me, and continue to research and write the other three. These stories have not been written or presented in the same way before. Reading your list was an adrenaline rush for me, affirming what I believe deep down. Thank you so much Stephanie!

    • Stephanie Palmer


      • Andrew Leith

        Hi. I am Andrew. I live in South Africa. I have written a script for action movie. I don’t know how to complete the process, and I was wondering if someone could look at it. I think it’s very good, fast, and the script took me three weeks to write; I was just excited, fully charged, with characters, plot, scene sequences and movement of the story. It felt very real to me. I was driven to write it, but don’t know what else to do from this point. I need serious help and assistance.

      • Stephanie Palmer

        Hi Andrew. Congrats on finishing your script! I recommend finding a writer’s group in South Africa where you can exchange your script with other writers and get feedback. Or, you can pay for script coverage.

  6. Nathan Huber

    Great information!
    I am very interested in obtaining your services for my film idea
    There’s a very interesting story behind the creation.

  7. 12 Warning Signs You Might Have A Great Idea | Indieactivity

    […] good friend over at “Good in a Room“, Stephanie Palmer, asks “Are you someone who has a lot of […]

  8. Ken Sullivan

    Another trenchant article from Stephanie. Thanks once again.