Screenwriting from the Subconscious Mind

Subconscious –

Happening or existing without one’s awareness

The part of the mind below the level of conscious perception. Often used with the. 

Sub·con scious·ness n



It is believed that our subconscious thoughts are fed and driven by our conscious mind. Our day-to-day life experiences; what we see, hear, touch and feel are thought to influence our subconscious mind in ways that we do understand. If it actually happens, it’s only understandable that it’s kept as a memory, right? Well, there are also many things that influence our subconscious mind that we do not understand. These are the things that likely play a role in creating bizarre characters, surreal scenes and crazy dialog that we experience in our subconscious mind and in our dreams.
Take for example; when you go to sleep. You’re lying there, quiet and still. Your breathing slows, your muscles relax and all of a sudden you start experiencing dream-like thoughts. If this occurs while you are still semi-conscious, these dream-like thoughts could be from your subconscious. You have random thoughts of people and encounters throughout your present day as well as jumbled thoughts and situations that may have occurred years prior. Some thoughts you experience may have never occurred in your life, but may be a sign or a glimpse of what is yet to come.

It is also possible that your imagination works at full capacity when you’re completely relaxed. This is why it is imperative to keep a pad of paper and a pen nearby your bed. More often than not, if you do not write down what you have just experienced, you will not remember a shred of it in the morning. No matter how hard you try to summon up that forgotten thought or strange scenario with bizarre characters, it has laid itself back down, deep rooted in your subconscious. It may never come to the top of your thoughts again.

It is also possible to experience a subconscious thought at any given time during the day. Take for example; when you are standing in line at your local coffee shop. You start listening to the conversations around you. They all tend to blend together like one big cocktail party mix of conversations. Then it fades in… It’s that one conversation that stands out from the cocktail party mix. You’re not eavesdropping but just absorbing a conversation within earshot. The exchange of dialog between these particular people seems so interesting that you start building your own story around their words. Your imagination takes hold and before you know it, you have created scenes and locations over their dialog. What you have created in your mind at that moment may have nothing to do with what those individuals were discussing, but your subconscious mind built out the best case scenario based on what you just absorbed. Write it down… 

You must understand and utilize your subconscious thoughts. This is where the motherload of your imagination lies. Every good screenwriter has an immeasurable amount of imagination. In order to succeed to the level of a successful screenwriter, you will need to harness all of the imagination that you can grasp. Convert your subconscious thoughts to scenes, characters and dialog. Think of your imagination as your own personal assistant.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.  – Albert Einstein

I know there are many creative people out there that have the passion, drive and desire to be successful screenwriters. We can see the opportunities that lie around us everywhere. We have the creative instinct to visualize material where others would not. We carry the natural raw talent that serves as our inspiration to create original ideas that we then share with the world.

Write from your heart, mind and soul.

 – David L. Spies

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