Start reading Your Idea Machine (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 1) on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Your Idea Machine (Screenwriting Blue Books Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

William C. Martell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Rock 'n' Roll Biographies & Memoirs
Browse featured books on Alice in Chains, the Rolling Stones, and other rock icons. Learn more

Book Description

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Your screenplay is going to begin with an idea. There are good ideas and bad ideas and commercial ideas and personal ideas. But where do you find ideas in the first place? This handbook explores different methods for finding or generating ideas, and combining those ideas into concepts that sell. Over 175 pages filled with idea generation techniques!

The Idea Bank, Fifteen Places To Find Ideas, Good Ideas And Bad Ideas, Ideas From Locations And Elements, Keeping Track Of Your Ideas, Idea Theft - What Can You Do? Weird Ways To Connect Ideas, Combing Ideas To Create Concepts, High Concepts - What Are They? Creating The Killer Concept, Substitution - Lion Tamers & Hitmen, Creating Blockbuster Concepts, Magnification And The Matrix, Conflict Within Concept, Concepts With Visual Conflict, Avoiding Episodic Concepts, much more!

Professional Screenwriter William C. Martell (19 produced films) takes you into the world of ideas and high concepts, showing you step-by-step how to find the best idea for your script.

Product Details

  • File Size: 307 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: First Strike Productions; Revised Edition edition (July 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EE649S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome for the Left Brain Dominant December 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are lots of books on writing structure out there, but very few (that I have found) on creativity. Although this book is aimed at screenwriters, this fact does not at all prevent novelists from absorbing Martell's excellent advice on generating great ideas. Strong left-brainers like me will probably find the entire book's pinpoint focus on idea creation refreshing and invaluable.

One specific concept in the book was particularly helpful to me in squashing a lot of self-doubt. As I brainstorm ideas that excite me, I often notice--right then or later--that my "fresh" idea has actually already been done before, and then I get discouraged that my idea is not original enough for a novel. Martell goes into this at length near the end of the book: he explains not only the value but the near inevitability of recycling old ideas. The trick is to make them unique, universal, and personal (read the book to get more on this).

I'm going to rate it 5 because it helped me so much, but if I could rate it 4 1/2 I would, and for one reason only: an abundance of typos and formatting issues in the Kindle version. There are scores of omitted and misspelled words, and one large section in the middle of the book is actually duplicated. The proofreading, editing, and formatting was obviously rushed through.

Other than that, this book is GREAT read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels that their creativity is mechanical and stiff. I believe it will give you a whole new perspective as well as the tools necessary to create quality ideas that will get your novel or manuscript SOLD. After all, isn't that the ultimate goal?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He knows, and knows that he knows September 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Martell knows more about successful screenwriting than any 10 other *gurus.* But MOST IMPORTANTLY, he can communicate what he knows to you. And that's what counts. He must have digested every movie made in the last 80 years, and can teach you to differentiate between what works and what doesn't. Since you've only got 24 hours in a day, spend as much of it as you can with someone who can help you. Suggestion: consume everything this guy produces. Looking forward to more Blue Books on Kindle.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! August 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's amazing how much great advice and humor William Martell puts out daily on a non-paid basis. Don't have $3 for a book? Visit his website. Want to chat with him? He's on facebook and twitter. He couldn't be friendlier or more accessible and he earns a living writing screenplays. He's not a "those who can't do, teach" seminar perennial, he lives it and gives back to other writers. And he not only tells you what to do to write great scripts, he gives examples - LOTS of examples. Even a fool like me gets it. Can't wait to download more of the series as they come out. Thanks, Bill!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Material But Wasn't Proofread First October 4, 2011
By flyingt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I always read most, if not all, of a book's reviews. True to previous reviewers, Bill Martell's books have loads of excellent advice and information. This should be a 5-star review and would have been if not for the fact that I believe the author submitted his writings without proofreading first. I found the constant encounter with context or spelling errors an unfortunate distraction. Sometimes the errors made it difficult to understand his point. I can understand if this book came from someone who is NOT a professional writer, but obviously this is simply a case of not rereading the material prior to submitting it. It also made me think that no one else read his book(s) prior to publication, which is surprising.

Having said all this, the information contained is really good and delivers on what was promised. Hopefully he checks the reviews periodically and will consider fixing the errors on existing publications as well as on future books. For you readers looking to purchase this book, please don't let my review be a hindrance. If you want great info presented in a no nonsense format, his books shouldn't be missed!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book to Keep Nearby Always April 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave this book my highest rating. Why? Because though nothing in it was ground-breaking or earth shattering, the content lifted me up and got my brain to working. I plan on keeping this book near both my bed and my writing studio to stoke the creative fires when I start running cold.

The book leads through examples and provides exercises to put the material to immediate practical use.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Any Screenwriter April 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"A great concept is the most important single element in creating a story"

The eBook cover more than just coming up with ideas. William Martell covers what is a movie (more like why we go to the movies), brainstorming, generating ideas (my notes list 21 ways), what is High Concept, how do you know you have a good idea, and building your story.

The additional gem included in the eBook is the section on Trends. Why they happen and how to predict and/or lead a Trend.

After reading this eBook, I realized my current core story concept would probably not make a hit movie (but probably a good book), so I'm back to the drawing board to either revamp the story or toss it altogether. Thanks William for saving me hours of writing time on a story that would have never sold.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant road map for finding script ideas! December 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book because it not only teaches the reader multiple ways of how to come up with ideas - but more importantly - how to distinguish between the good ideas and the bad ones.

I would recommend this book to any aspiring screenwriter.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great advice! Some helpful pointers.
Great advice! Some helpful pointers.
Published 7 months ago by Michael Adante
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Learning To Screenwriting
This clear and concise ebook helped me generate some unique ideas for a screenplay I am writing. I would recommend it to those who are struggling to find those creative ideas as... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Karam Ezzideen
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
I found it all very basic and obvious. "get ideas from headlines" or "combine two different ideas"… that kind of thing. Waste of money.
Published 12 months ago by Anthony A
5.0 out of 5 stars just what I was looking for
While I have never lacked ideas, this book contained many ways to generate unlimited ideas, and to filter out the ones worth pursuing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Christopher Kokoski
5.0 out of 5 stars It Made My Ears Tickle
William C. Martell never ceases to amaze me. I held off on getting this book because I've read a handful of other books claiming to be "idea" books and they all sucked... Read more
Published 21 months ago by John Carl
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Martell does an excellent job of capturing then explaining the...
Bill Martell's book, THE IDEA MACHINE, makes us consider why we have ideas, what they really are, how they can serve us, both in our fiction writing and also in our lives. Read more
Published 21 months ago by John Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
I like all the Screenwriting Blue Books. They are all filled with very useful information that you just don't find in other places.
Published 21 months ago by Lawrence Maturo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
The techniques described by Martell are all workable. Now i find myself generating movie ideas from random stuff around me. Read more
Published on January 13, 2013 by nesco79
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas are needed
The more ideas one has, the better one can write. A screenwriter has to be able to be CREATIVE and how differing ideas are needed. Read more
Published on December 5, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great habit-forming tool for generating ideas
I teach screenwriting, and after having gone through one semester of theory, this is the best book for rolling up our sleeves and generating idea after idea after idea. Read more
Published on September 11, 2012 by Frank
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

"William C. Martell is the Robert Towne of made for cable movies," (Washington Post reviewer) David Nuttycombe.

How many writers of screenwriting books make their living actually writing and selling screenplays?

William C. Martell has written nineteen produced films, including three HBO World Premieres, two Showtime Originals, two MOWs for USA Network, and a whole bunch of CineMax Originals (which is what happens when an HBO movie goes really, really wrong). In 2009 he wrote the big budget studio remake of a low budget 1980s theatrical horror movie - which is still inching toward production, and in his 20 year career as a professional screenwriter has done everything from adapting a New York Times Bestseller to turning down the job adapting ANGELS & DEMONS.

When he's not writing screenplays, he spends his time on film festival juries, including Raindance in London (twice - once with Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows, once with Lennie James and Edgar Wright - and went back to "jury duty" in October of 2009). Roger Ebert discussed him with Gene Siskel on his 1997 "If We Picked The Winners" Oscar show. and he's quoted a few times in Bordwell's great book "The Way Hollywood tells It". His USA Net flick HARD EVIDENCE was released on video the same day as the Julia Roberts' film Something To Talk About and out-rented it in the USA... resulting in many meetings at Warner Bros (who released both films) where various executives asked him "Why?". In 2007 he had two films released on DVD on the same day - one from Sony Pictures, one from LionsGate - and both made the top 10 rentals. He is currently working on several projects for studios... plus a bunch of spec scripts.

Mr. Martell has been interviewed in Variety (February 24, 1997), featured in The Hollywood Reporter's first Writers Special Issue (February 1994), was the cover interview in The Hollywood Scriptwriter (October 1996), and was interviewed in the first issue of ScreenTalk Magazine (Denmark). Entertainment Today (March 23, 2001) named his website ScriptSecrets.Net the Best On The Web for screenwriters... and his blog was selected as one of the best by Bachelor's Degree Org.

Mr. Martell's book, THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING (First Strike Press) has been called "The best book on the practical nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing a screenplay I've ever read." - Ted Elliott, co-writer "The Mask Of Zorro", "Shrek", "Pirates Of The Caribbean" movies.

"William C. Martell knows the action genre inside out. Learn from an expert!" - Mark Verheiden, screenwriter, "Time Cop", "The Mask" and TV's "Smallville".

"This book is dangerous. I feel threatened by it." - Roger Avary, Oscar winning screenwriter, "Pulp Fiction".

"My only complaint with SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is that it wasn't around when I was starting out. The damned thing would have saved me years of trial and error!" - Ken Wheat, screenwriter, "Pitch Black" and "The Fly 2".

"Finally a screenwriting book written by a working professional screenwriter. Bill Martell really knows his stuff, showing you how to write a tight, fast screenplay." - John Hill, screenwriter, "Quigley Down Under".

Mr. Martell was born in the same hospital, in the same month, as Tom Hanks. Many believe they were switched at birth, and Bill should be the movie star. He lives in Studio City, California, and can be found most afternoons at some coffee house writing some darned new script on his laptop.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category