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Dan Harmon Shares Story-Breaking Advice

How do you map out ideas before starting a story?

One reader asked Community creator Dan Harmon to explain his personal process of “story-breaking,” or how he brainstorms his way into a script. Harmon’s long and idiosyncratic explanation of his creative process might help you chart out your next story, novel or script. Check it out:

Start with random IDEAS.  Ideas can be anything – Poop is an idea, America, pickles, the number six, a raccoon, anything. Some ideas will reveal related ideas, i.e. you may think, upon thinking about raccoons, that you have more than one thought about raccoons.  Clouds of related ideas that your mind recognizes as related in any way are potential story AREAS.  Look for areas that make you laugh and cry. Draw a circle to symbolize your area, because your story will take the “reader” through related ideas in a path around a central idea.

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