Stumble into is a brainstorming technique that has a man or woman accidentally falling into a dangerous, unplanned situation in the normal course of their day. It was a favorite technique frequently used by director Alfred Hitchcock.
In the Hitchcock film, Rear Window, Jimmy Stuart plays a man who's confined to a wheel chair. While gazing out of his window one night, he believes he witnesses one of his neighbors being murdered. That incident launches the main plot line and a further investigation of what may be someone who was killed.
In the film, Jumping Jack Flash, Whoopie Goldberg plays a bank teller who believes she accidentally overheard part of a Central Intelligence Agency plot which she gets involved in.
In the movie Cellular, a man driving his car receives a random call on his cell phone. On the other end is a frantic woman who claims she's been kidnapped and begs this stranger to intervene and save her life.
Stumble into, along with as dozen or so other brainstorming techniques are instant shortcuts to creating original movie plot lines. In this example, you decide on a plot that the audience hasn't seen before in another film. An illustration would be for someone to stumble into a war or for somebody to stumble into an impending riot.
All dozen brainstorming techniques are available on either my High Concept CD or High Concept eBook.
- Read more Writer's Edge articles by Steve Kaire
- Jeanne's Screenwriting Tips: 7 Brainstorming Techniques
Get great advice on structuring your story with Dara Marks'
Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc