1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can a story be trite?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Jan 4, 2012.

    Would a bad story idea ruin the entire story or is it all about how you write it?
     
  2. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Depends what you mean by a 'bad story idea' - because it's been done to death before and is therefore cliche? is it contrived? implausible? full of plot holes?

    There are no 'bad' story ideas per se, only ideas that do not grab or excite a reader. Concept is important for your elevator pitch/cover blurb, so yes there are advantages to having a really clever and original idea, but that's not to say you can't do a typical genre story well.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I meant that it can come off as a little lame plus It would certainly make an impression of an author trying to live her own dreams and fantasies or something through what she's writing even though it's not true. I wouldn't like to be my mc, I just found the idea of the situation she's in kind of interesting plus it's a really fun writing.
     
  4. astroannie
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    astroannie Member

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    Well, write it and see what you get. I just received a "fix these and resubmit" from an editor for a story that was ridiculed by more than one person on a couple of forums (fora?). Anyway, until you have the story and share it, you don't really know what other people will think.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Guess you're right, I just lost a little of the initial enthusiasm for it when I started to realize exactly how lame it is... But then, I see a lot of stories out in the book stores that I think sound lame, so... I'm just trying to work up the spirit to finish it, since I'm so close now, I have only less than 20K left and I don't want to leave it unfinished.
     
  6. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Yes, it can.
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    *Puts on sunglasses and takes a sip of scotch*

    Bad story ideas and poor writing are irrelevant when it comes to success. Just look at the Twilight series. Meyer had all kinds of success with garbage.

    *Pulls glasses down, winks, smiles, and then takes another sip*
     
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  8. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    The worst idea can be turned into the best story by the calibre of the writing. Likewise, a great idea can be turned into a steaming pile of excrement through poor execution.
     
  9. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    This is totally off topic and I apologize to everyone in advance.

    But,

    AHHHHHH!!!!! Mr. Kiwi!!!! THE HOBBIT!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!! So excited!!!!

    Is the entire nation of New Zealand all stoked about it? Or are all of you over the Middle Earth madness?

    I have always wondered; have these movies boosted New Zealand's economy?
     
  10. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Ssshhh, don't look! I see a shimmering with fangs just over your left shoulder...
     
  11. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's all how you write it. An idea is little more than meaningless. The writing behind it will determine the final product.
     
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  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Phew! It was only a disco ball--or was it?

    One can never be certain. ;)
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's 'all about how you write it'... period!
     
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Phew! Good to hear. Last night I was awake wondering how to end it for it not to fall into that trap of sounding lame, clichéd and trite. I think I'm onto something. :p
     
  15. Ziggy Stardust
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    It's entirely the way you tell the story. People that have a gift for story telling can spin a dull event into an entertaining narrative. Think about stand up comedians. If you give say, Billy Connelly and... I don't know, someone very boring, the same talking points. Do you think they will be equally entertaining? (rhetorical, I don't care if you think Billy Connelly is boring :p) I trust you get my point.

    And for the record, Twilight is well written. Sure the plot is a bit teenage America and at points is so wet that it makes you want to vomit, but the prose is actually quite strong.
     
  16. Mercury12000
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    Mercury12000 Member

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    Great topic.


    I do not think a story should be trite. Cliche is acceptable, but not trite.

    But when it comes to syntax I believe that neither triteness nor cliches are acceptable. Except, of course, during the first draft in which case we should finish by any means neccessary.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how do you distinguish between trite and cliche, mercury?
     
  18. Whirlwind
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    Whirlwind Member

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    I think a bad idea will ruin it.
     
  19. Mercury12000
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    Mercury12000 Member

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    To me, a trite read is implicitely tedious; hard work to read and understand. Cliche, however, does not imply difficulty for the reader.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    so you don't see 'trite' as merely 'stale' or rehashing old stuff?... and 'cliche' as the same, or close to that, since it's material that has been much-used?

    i'm trying to see how 'trite' could be hard work to read and understand and figure out why it would be...
     
  21. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    Honestly, this is EXACTLY what i had in mind when i first chanced upon this post!! And, well ,i couldn't agree more to it.
     
  22. Mercury12000
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    I think of it like the way that an elementary child writes. You've probably seen it, their work can be very unique/imaginative but it is objectively trite. You wouldn't want to read the material of an elementary school student very often or for very long because of how trite the writing is.

    But if you happened upon a ghost story written by the great Mark Twain, it could be totally cliche but because he is leagues more experienced than a child, it would not be tritely written.
     
  23. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not talking bad writing here, just the story idea. The question was more like, 'can you write that kind of idea in a way to make it appealing or is it already doomed because of the plot?'
     
  24. Mercury12000
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    Personally I think publishers put too much pressure on writers to build the plot.

    I like simple plots.

    Remember the story about the babysitter who got those threatning phone calls, later to find out that they were coming from a man inside the house? That is a simple story, not complex at all. The whole plot is summed up in one sentence. Now if I told you that I was going to write that myself, you would probably say that is an aweful, boring, mundane, cliche idea and would never stick. But look at how well it actually did.
     
  25. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I actually like simple plots too. I think it's a good thing if you can summarize it in one sentence, (like in the NY-times bestseller list) and I always try to do that, but I rarely succeed. :) I'll get there, though.
     

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