1. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Coming up with new ideas

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LaGs, Apr 26, 2011.

    Does anyone ever get a bit anxious that what they are writing is somewhat generic, and in no way distinguishes them from the hordes of other aspiring writers out there? I mean there's only so many subjects you can write about, and in a unique way, and i sometimes think what can there be out there that hasn't already been written? Just a thought, what do people do to keep their mind fresh and keep coming up with new ideas?
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Everything thing has been done, just been re-orded and put together in a different way that makes it unique!
    I watch, read, listen to all kinds of stuff. Anime is my main inspiration, but I can even be inspired by games. I just watched Thor today, and was even inspired by that.
    I say branch out of what you usually watch/read/listen to a little bit and you might get hit by new ideas.
     
  3. dnsralg
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    dnsralg Senior Member

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    Everything's already done until some brave soul comes up with something new. Record your dreams, think about new ways to twist old ideas, and think outside the box. Above all, though, be passionate in your work regardless of what you perceive about its marketability.
     
  4. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Yea thats true...i think a lot can be said for someone who writes without restraint and writes in the way that he feels natural, as opposed to trying to impress someone else, or being limited by what others might think
     
  5. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    I did a lot of research on my idea before I decided to go through with it. My desire to create something new and exciting outweighed any other idea I had at that time.

    Sometimes I do worry about an over-saturation in the literary market. But then again, there must be a reason why writers continue to write them and publishers continue to print them. If your concept/setting has been done before (vampire fights, police betrayal) then you just have to work that much harder to create memorable characters that people will want to read again.

    Even in my infinite ignorance/wisdom, I can't come up with something truly and 100% unique. Our job as writers is to provide our audience a method of escaping their lives, even if its just for a few minutes a day. We should strive do our absolute best in making sure they are more than satisfied.
     
  6. author97
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    author97 Member

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    An old idea can become new with great writing, original characters, and an intriguing plot. New ideas are refreshing and sometimes risky, but they are also more often interesting to readers. My idea is from two points of view, two teens facing college, both from very different situations.
     
  7. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Nah, my ideas are too cool to be generic. *ego trip required for writing successfully*
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    *high five* Me too! :p
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every subject has been covered, recycled and done to death, but not by you.

    Every writer eventually develops their own voice, their own style and puts their own slant on things, that is how something that has been done over and over again can, in the hands of a good writer, sound fresh and interesting.

    e.g.
    J.K. Rowling did not invent wizards (they had been done to death) yet she found a new angle (school for wizards) that incorporated a fair mixture of good v evil, an orphaned child, a wicked (guardian) uncle, a spiteful brat for a cousin etc. etc.

    And they say that every love story ever told is just a reworking of Romeo and Juliet.

    So stop worrying and tell your story your way.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    I never understood why people said that about Romeo and Juliet- I mean, Shakespeare didn't invent that story archetype ether XD I guess it's just because his is so immortal.
    (Besides that people seem to think R&J is some romantic, beautiful tale: I thought it was more of a cautionary tale i.e. Don't marry someone several days after meeting them especially if you're a confused teenager, lol)

    Pointlessness aside, I agree with Trillby. Everything's been done but you can always do it differently, maybe even do it better. :-D If you do it well there will always be someone who wants to read it.

    (Even some people like to read generic samey rip-offs if it satisfies their reading wants, eg. I've seen my sister's friend reading all those weird Vampire thingies piggybacking on Twilight's sucess that she can get her hands on)
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    No I don't worry about that, as some of you said: every stor has already been written and I think my way of seeing things and therefore writing is a bit different to most writers so I guess it would be pretty original anyway. And even if it wouldn't; a good story is always a good story no matter now many times it has been told and in how many shapes. Because even though they have already been written (and read) I don't think there are two novels that are exactly the same.
     
  12. The Soul Man
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    The Soul Man Member

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    Genuine inspiration is impossible to find, too create something completely new nigh impossible. That being said, it's not much you steal from others that matters in art, what matters is where you go with it. Immerse yourself with inspirational ideas. Watch movies, read new and old books, look at the news, play video games, try lucid dreaming, research historical periods, look around at the world around you. Steal anything you want, but make sure you go far with these ideas.
     
  13. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    If you want something "fresh", research ancient mythology. Not always the well known stories either. The so-called "forgotten" myths. Storytelling was mastered thousands of years ago and the chances of "discovering" something new noone has thought of before are so slim that you're better off using the tried and true.
     
  14. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm, not really. I just write whatever I want to.

    Although, I admit I was really disappointed when I found out there was a film (never heard of it) with the same idea as a short story of mine. I thought it was a really original sci-fi concept. :p
     
  15. Jigen
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    Jigen Member

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    So far I have spent much more time thinking about my plots, ideas, and characters than actually writing. Personally I can't motivate myself to write at all if I don't have some idea in my head that is exciting to me.
     
  16. Kitkatz
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    Kitkatz Member

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    I like to doodle on a piece of paper next to me whenever I need to just think about where I'm heading next, something about using that part of my brain unlocks more creative thoughts. They're not all useful, but they are all ideas and one thing leads to another :)
     
  17. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I actually don't worry about that anymore. It was something I use to worry about when I first started to writing, but the more I've written, the more I see that my writings and ideas are often unconventional from the norm... I find that I don't do things the easy way... often times, I find myself pushing myself to push my own boundaries in subject matter and in pursing different writing styles instead of sticking to what I'm good at. It may not work in the end, but I'm having fun doing it and I'm learning.

    I don't know... I've just noticed that I tend to do things differently than most people and so far, I've gotten positive reviews that I don't question differentiating myself from other writers. Also, with my most inspiration-ally driven works, it's the creativity that drives me and not the other way around. I'm just a mere tool writing a story that's somehow already formed in my mind without my knowledge.

    And to add onto the: "every story has already been done" posts.

    True... and often times, I think that someone being able to tell one story a hundred different ways and STILL make each one interesting, is a mark of a good writer.

    I actually really have thought about doing this. Pick one short story with a concept... and write it a hundred different ways and see if I can make each one different and interesting.
     
  18. stormin'norman
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    stormin'norman Member

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    Documentaries have always been one of ways for me to get a new perspective of the world and its many characters.

    For instance, there is a show that comes on a local programming station here in the states called Independent Lens. The episode I caught last night was a low budget documentary depicting a man that suffered brain damage from an assault. His injury was so severe that he slowly became unable to socialize effectively with society.

    In order to deal with his affliction, he began to re-create WWII scenes in his backyard. He built a large landscape of miniature houses and towns that were filled with soldiers. He would take pictures of different scenarios and tell various stories of the world he created. He describes how he uses this as a sort of coping mechanism. It was one of the strangest things I've seen in a while. But I also thought he, or various types of people like himself, could create an interesting character. Various versions of this story could at least be spun into an interesting short story.

    Documentaries are great because they help one to peek into the corners of life. There is a lot out there to see. I would suppose that when searching for ideas it may help to remember one of my favorite quotes of the baseball coach/philosopher Yogi Berra:

    "You can see a lot by observing"
     
  19. Chachi Bobinks
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    Chachi Bobinks Senior Member

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    I do chick lit and I can guarantee you that if you gave me a bucket of chick lit, I could dip my hand in there and pull out a story that involves a main character who is in love with a character and has a completely different character in love with her/her, too. But I can as easy guarantee you that if I put my hand back in that same bucket and pulled out a second book, it would be the same formula but a -completely- different story.

    Here's how I see it:

    If chick lit can still crank out new books on a weekly basis, everyone else is pretty much alright.

    When you get discouraged, keep that in mind. That is one genre where the same old story is used in probably every other book that comes out, yet they all seem to be completely fresh and genuinely new. Why? Because it's a different person writing it who has brought in different experiences, characters, and scenarios. That's what counts!
     
  20. Vick
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    Vick New Member

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    In my opinion, until you're at a stage where you're seriously considering writing something to sell, I wouldn't worry too much about originality. During the early stages, honing your craft should be the main priority. And beautiful writing can be its own reward too. Take Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (or Saturday by the same author, for that matter). Beautiful writing can make even the mundane concept an absolute page tuner.

    As for generating new ideas, the most valuable tool a writer can have is a notebook that they carry everywhere with them. You never know when an idea could strike and you'll kick yourself later if you can't quite remember it. And those ideas don't just come from fully-formed concepts that pop into your head - they can come from anything. Snatches of a woman's conversation with her daughter on the bus, for example.

    And inspire yourself in everyway possible. Be curious about the world. Never stop asking questions, reading books, watching films etc.

    I've written for a living for over 5 years now 9-5 and even I get stuck sometimes. And when I do, I don't get frustrated or annoyed with myself. I simply do something else. I go for a walk in town. Browse the net. Maybe reply to a post or two on a forum (;)). And then the words come back and I go back to my machine.

    Vick
     
  21. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Yes, everything has been done a thousand times…. However the “x factor” is you. You’re the element that can turn something mundane and overdone into something new, exciting, and fresh.
     

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