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  • Writer's pictureBenita Garvin


I often tell my USC screenwriting students that imagination is like a muscle. It must be exercised. Then I see it as a quote by somebody else. The reality is there's nothing new. And that fact should liberate you. The only way to create something original is to be completely and utterly YOU. Because that is the one thing you can be 100% nobody else can be or copy.

What is new? What is original? NOTHING. The only thing any of us have going for us is our own unique way of looking at the the world around us. I read somewhere there are, for all practical purposes, nine story lines. Nine, if you actually break it down into categories. Rags to riches; hollow victory; the quest. (Google them if you want the rest).

If it's true, if there are only nine, what great news! You don't need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to tell your truth. THAT is what's original!!!

Be true to yourself. Express yourself in a way that feels right to you. Maybe that's a short story. Maybe it's a novel. Maybe it's a short film. I always say to my STL classes - you have ALL the answers. All you have to do is ask the questions and keep your answers consistent within the truth of your story.

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