The summer I turned seventeen, I went with my mom and oldest brother (whom I'll call "T") to St. Petersburg, Russia, to visit our missionary grandparents. It was the first time I'd ever left the continental US and the first time I'd ever been to a foreign country other than Canada. It was an adventure for numerous reasons, but there's one in particular that I'll tell you about today.

On one day of our visit, we were getting ready to leave Grandmother and Grandfather's apartment to go do something. (Yes, I call them Grandmother and Grandfather. It's a long story.) "T" and I were ready first, so we were hanging out by the front door waiting for everyone else. Knowing that I wanted to be a screenwriter when I grew up, "T" told me he had an idea for a scene in a movie. He described it something like this:

"The good guys get captured and taken to the bad guy, who comes out wearing a hood. He takes off the hood, and they see it's a duck. And he says, 'Wewcome to my pawace. Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah [i.e., duck laugh]!'" 

Well, that made me laugh, but it also got my wheels turning. I guess I wanted to figure out how the characters could get to that point. 

That wacky idea became my first feature-length screenplay. 

It's changed a lot since that first goofy concept and is still a work in progress. As I've matured and grown, so has the story. But the villain is still an evil duck, and a form of that scene is still present.

My point is, embrace the weird. Sometimes that's where the best ideas come from.

Write on,


P.S. Do you have a wacky idea that you want to develop? Click here to book a time for me to talk it through with you and create an outline so you can get writing!

(Thanks to Sandy Millar for sharing their work on Unsplash.)