1. Ron Aberdeen
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    Ron Aberdeen Banned

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    Cooking up a good story.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ron Aberdeen, Aug 10, 2010.

    Creating an original never thought off before concept for a screenplay can drive a writer to distraction but you only have to look at how much Hollywood spends on a safe road by remaking remakes and breathing fresh life into past heroes and heroines to see how rare they think finding something new and different is.

    Their attitude only amplifies how unlikely they are at risking everything on something that hasn’t been done before; especially if it comes from a writer they have never heard of before.

    But all is not lost; a good comparison is the menu of a great restaurant with a Michelin multi star winning chef and a writer entering the screenplay market.

    Any chef will tell you getting a dish right is a question of balancing the ingredients, having a good palate and how the dish is presented.

    Now that means before cooking you need to know what ingredients to use and how to use them.

    A good palate comes from experience, especially trying dishes prepared by other chefs, together with being able to recognise the ingredients used and what effect they have on the finished results.

    Finally, when the dish is finished, it has to appeal, in appearance and aroma; in other words what it looks like on the plate.

    Writing is bit like that.

    Twenty cooks can make a cake but not all the cakes will taste the same, nor will all the cakes look the same.

    Just as twenty writers can write about the same subject and none of the screenplays will read the same.

    Even traditional dishes Chefs have presented over and over again can be made to have a touch of originality about them, by the flair of the Chef.

    The same applies to writing, no matter how many war stories, romantic comedies, vampire sagas or thrillers are penned by a myriad of scribblers the chances of two having exactly the same ingredients presented in the same way are as rare as finding a pair of mating Dodos.

    What ever your idea for a screenplay is, remember, it will be your vision, your presentation and your voice that will give it, its originality.

    Similarities in concept, story and theme in your story to other stories should not detract from the fresh vision, novel delivery and unique twists and turns with your outstandingly different characters you created from your individual imagination.

    Finding excuses not to do something is an art in itself.
     
  2. Chudz
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    Chudz Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty sure I totally agree with that, and now I'm hungry!
     
  3. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    That is some pretty sound advice there Ron.
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    This can be used as a template post in those threads where they ask if their ideas are original.
     
  5. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    It's a fair comparision to make, but any chef will tell you that they often have to create dishes to a set budget, the same is true of most writers who are writing for the film or television markets. A lot of scripts or screenplays go through a heavy editing process so that they will be made within budget.

    Don't let that put you off coming up with the most imaginative script that you can write, but be aware that if your script gets accepted anywhere then it will probably be modified to match a budget.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Noma, the worlds best restaurant according to Michelin, specializes in dishes that have never been tasted before, using ingredients that nobody else have thought of.

    One week they served stick, coated in milk skin.

    Bon appetit.
     
  7. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ron, being a screenwriter, you can certainly relate to this. Back in my days living on the American Left Coast, a producer once explained to me the difficulty in getting a new story concept to the screen.

    "If it's already been done before," he said, "everyone will simply say, 'It's already been done to death.' And, if it really is something that's never been done before, they will say, 'It hasn't been done because, obviously, it won't sell.'"

    Talk about a catch-22!
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "Catch-22"...now THERE was a great original idea.
     

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