1. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    Anyone else ever get jealous of other writers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kablooblab, Jan 10, 2012.

    so many times have I read a story,watched a movie and even on here and I just think to myself "Why didn't I think of that!?" and feel much less creative and less confident than I should be. Sometimes I get tempted to copy people but in my opinion if you copy you should be sent to the fiery depths of hell. Am I alone with this feeling? And if I'm not, how do you get over it? Or be more creative?
     
  2. Enerzeal
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    Enerzeal Member

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    For me it isn't the ideas that someone else comes up with and gets down on paper or film that I get jealous about. It is always the way they manage to work dialogue in certain situations. I am a very plain spoken person so writing a scene in an embassy or a party of nobles and wealthy merchants I feel like what I have written is basic, or boring even. I will then come across a scene in another book or in a role-play thread and someone will have nailed it completely, lashings of grandiose dialogue and interwoven stories. That's when the green eyed monster pokes his head round the door and exclaims how weak my work is compared to this scene brought to life in all its political maneuvering splendor, double crossing and back handed comments.
     
  3. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Go to Amazon and download samples of self-published books. That might bolster your ego somewhat. Use good writing to help you with your ambitions to improve.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Frequently. L. Lee Lowe has two novels. Evan Puschak has a novella. All three are freely available on the internet. All three are spectacular in terms of prose and plot and characters. I am very, very jealous of both of them.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you like something, take it. Work with it. Make it your own. Virtually every piece I've ever written has come about as a result of being directly inspired by some other piece. Sometimes I begin by just lifting whole passages from the work and writing around it. It's a great way to develop a style that incorporates the things you admire, and soon enough you won't need the guide pieces any more, you'll just be able to write in a new style.

    Plot is easy though, I don't think there's ever any reason to be jealous of plot. If you like it, you can just take it outright. Even easier than stealing style. Writers who get hung up on copying amuse me. I've never met a professional writer with any qualms whatsoever about copying ideas and styles. Outright plagiarism is a different story, but copying is one of the most important tools in any writer's utility belt.
     
  6. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I'm massively jealous of people who can come up with snappy, high concept ideas. I only ever come up with flabby, vague concepts or ideas for just a character I'd like to write about, and I have to really wrestle to find some sort of plot to go with my idea.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is why I read very little when I'm working on something. I don't like being so directly influenced by someone else's writing, and if I do read something while I'm writing, my voice takes on elements of theirs, regardless of whether that's good or bad. I'd like to be able to write like my favourite authors, but I'd like it to be the challenge that it needs to be so that I can actually build my own voice while I do that. If I copy them in that way, I gain their voice. If I set something akin to their voice as my goal, I'm bound to get something different, maybe even better.
     
  8. Steve89
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    Steve89 Member

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    There is a difference between copying and taking inspiration. You should never think you have to come up with something completely different or unique all of the time, it puts too much weight on a writer's shoulders.

    I agree with Arron89, take ideas and make them your own. There are plenty of novelists and screen writers I'm jealous of, but I would never try to hide the fact that I'm inspired by them. The story I'm writing now is largely inspired by William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying in terms of structure and storytelling, but the actual narrative is completely different.

    I would wager that even the best writers gain inspiration from other writers, and I bet they get jealous of other writers too.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Taking ideas is a very different suggestion to copying an entire passage and then rewriting it. Part of the joy of writing is creating something essentially from scratch (of course there's inspiration and concepts taken subconsciously from all sorts of different places).
    If you build a starter home, you end up with a house, sure, but you were given all the materials and instructions and plans. If you get your own materials and plan your own house (with at least a rudimentary knowledge of design), then you end up with something that is definitely yours. Both are houses. One is unique, even with the inspirations you're likely to take from other houses and such.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Part of the joy of writing for you. And that's fine. But for me, I find it much more productive and much more enjoyable to think of it as an amalgamation of dozens, if not hundreds, of other sources. Copy-and-pasting, lifting ideas, stealing scenes, adopting strategies, and then deploying them in a way that is wholly original. Creative copying is just as valid as creative writing, if they're distinguishable at all.
     
  11. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    I would say I get envious rather than jealous. And it's more of their command of language than their "ideas". I don't think it's ever a good idea to consciously decide to "copy" someone. I agree with not reading while you're writing. At least, don't read anything even vaguely similar in style to what you are writing, dangerous! I think I've suffered from over reading Pratchett, you don't even want to know how many times I've read Feet of Clay, just too many! Think it'll take awhile before that shifts itself, darn it.
     
  12. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    all the time!!!

    however i just try to improve on my inferiorities by writing more and more every single day
     
  13. Steve89
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    Steve89 Member

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    I see the point you are making, and there is a huge difference between taking ideas and copying and pasting, but you have to ask how far something can be unique. Using your analogy of the house, can you not argue that no matter how different you make the house, it still has the same function as any other house? A writer can only go so far in making a piece of fiction different or unique before it has to be reigned in in order to serve it's purpose of telling a clear, coherent story.
     
  14. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    When I read something that's really good I feel inferior, inadequate, and amateur in comparison, but never jealous. I might feel a bit bitter that they're successful and I'm not, but that's another story ;)

    I don't ever read a book and think 'I wish I'd thought of that!' because if it's an idea/concept that seems very 'me' chances are I've already thought of it. If it's not 'me' then I wouldn't have come up with it, and couldn't write it even if I did, so it's a redundant point. The only annoying thing is when you see someone who has published a story EXACTLY like the one you were writing/ thinking of writing, only they've done it better than you could. Now THAT'S freakin infuriating!
     
  15. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I AM JEALOUS OF DAN BROWN AND STEPHANIE MEYER

    There, I said it.

    Why can't it be ME who mashes my face into a keyboard and have the garbled mess magically turn into millions of dollars? It's not FAIR >=(
     
  16. cari_za
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    cari_za Member

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    I like to absorb and build. If I read something good, I absorb it, make a mental note of why I thought it was good, why I think it affected me or stood out to me. Then I either jot my conclusions down as pointers or try really hard to remember them. And then if I have time I try do something similar but in my own way, with my own scene setting and my own characters. Then I show it to someone to read and see if I achieved the same thing. If I don't, I try again, or if I really missed the mark I abandon it, but most of the time I just try again until I start grasping how it was done.

    I think it's important to walk away with the driving force behind a good piece, and not so much the piece itself. That way you don't copy the piece, but you allow yourself the leeway to create a similar story/experience for a reader of your own work.

    So to answer, I don't really get jealous per se.... I acknowledge good work, raise a mental eyebrow and take note of it.

    I also don't like copying, but as many have said above, there's a difference between being inspired and copying.
     
  17. cari_za
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    cari_za Member

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    Bwahahahaha XD Fully agree.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Totally! I was actually going to start a thread "Books you wish you had written" :D I have gotten over the fact that there is nothing I can think of that is totally unique and original, but I am frequently in awe at stuff others have crafted - from the books to movies and even clever plot points or interesting characters as stand-alone thing can be awesome. I am jealous of them but in a good way - I am glad they did it, becuase I enjoyed reading/watching it, and each time it happens, I get something to strive for. For example, I adored "The Count of Monte Cristo" but obviously I am not going to rewrite it, but since I read it, I have a great affinity for byronic heroes like Edmond Dantes. Or since I read "The Void Trilogy" I have been obsessed with space opera plotlines etc.
     
  19. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh my god; I know what you mean. :( Reality hits you hard, bro.
     
  20. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    They make me think I should just blert out something cliche and angsty, and corner a nice little market for myself too.
     
  21. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I get down when I'm writing a rough draft. On the first run through of a story it comes out so bad, it is literally painful to read it. I start thinking maybe I lost my ablity to write and seriously doubting myself. It takes a ton of work for me to smooth out a story. I'm not sure that I feel jealous but it makes me feel like crap that I can't write a better first draft.
     
  22. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Happens all too frequently.
     
  23. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    THIS.

    Going along with the Dan Brown theme we got here, I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and picked up a book called The Lucifer Code same rehashed story involving a professor who makes some monumental discovery regarding some secret religious truth, and is hunted down by those who wish to keep it secret :rolleyes: (or something to that effect).

    I'm all for copying a little, but change it up some for the love of god. It almost made me mad to see that book published.
     
  24. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    "The Lucifer Code"? That's shameful. :eek:
     
  25. KinkyCousin
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    KinkyCousin Member

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    I am envious of those who are brave with their work (I refuse to let people I know in person read my stories) and who can push through writer's block better than I can.

    My first drafts make me cringe! They are so bad in my eyes, it may be because I am harsh on myself but I know my work needs a fair bit of editing before I'll be happy with it.
     

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