What’s the Big Idea?

I have lots of ideas.  Folders worth of ideas. Filing cabinets worth of ideas.  Ideas for books, movies, TV shows, web series.  I even have ideas on how to run a presidential campaign (are you listening Obama 2012?).

I think of new ideas so often that my seven-year-old son has started to pick up my habit.  “Oooh, Mom!” he’ll gasp from the backseat of the car.  “I just thought of the best idea!”

Of course, not every idea I come up with proves itself to be a worthy one.  And sometimes, even a good idea will simply fail to capture my interest over time.

But among the many good ideas that I have, few of them are Big Ideas.  In that they will never be huge franchises and sorely lack potential for becoming action figures.

In the days when it’s all about the tent-pole, I am the person who like small ideas.  And I’m not talking about some low-fi indie film kind of small (though I like those too) I’m talking about high-concept Hollywood ideas that simply don’t have sequel potential.  And in today’s film market (and sadly in publishing, too) that’s really not enough.

I know I’m in the minority here, but usually, I just want to see a movie.  As in one.  I am also happy to read a book, about one subject, and then, if I like it, read ANOTHER book by the same author, about something totally different.

And yet, the world is looking for the writer who can produce A SERIES.  Because as everyone who saw the first CHIPMUNKS movie knows, none of us were able to sleep at night until we knew they’d be a SQUEAKQUEL.

That being said, in all likelihood, I’ll probably haul my son to a theater to see CHIPWRECKED (the third in the chipmunk series) because The Franchise has successfully done its job.  But if I have to endure hearing the latest Top 40 songs sung in chipmunk voice for 90 minutes, the least I can hope for is that on the car ride home, my son and I will come up with some great new ideas about the premise for CHIPMUNKS #4.

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Filed under books, movies, YA, writing

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