1. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    Does anyone else lose confidence when they see a good movie/book/game?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Metus, Mar 9, 2012.

    When I write, if I see a really good movie, read a really good book, or play an amazing game, I tend to lose confidence in my ideas. I think it's because I don't believe I can compete with whatever great thing I just witnessed.

    Does anyone else have this issue?

    For example, Mass Effect 2. After I played that game, I couldn't write anything for a month. Even after that, I kept thinking about my favorite characters and at some points I thought it was utterly futile to try to compete with Bioware and their great characters. Same with Dragon Age II. The movie "The Prestige" had much the same effect.
     
  2. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do loose confidence when I see other works compared to mine.
     
  3. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Yeah, I feel that way every time I read a book by Amy Tan, actually. She just has an artistry about everything she does that I can't match. Her book Saving Fish from Drowning made me feel so incompetent!

    But the cure for any feeling like this is to watch something dreadfully mediocre, or--far more fun--something TERRIBLE. There's this "great" movie called The Room that's a couple of years old. It's just the worst thing on the planet. The dialog and the story are bad, and if possible, the acting is worse. It's hysterically funny (unintentionally) and you'll feel SO much better about your writing ability after you see it. That is, of course, unless you think the following are actually good lines of dialog, like something a person would actually say:

    "That b--- is always telling me what to do. I don't want to do what she wants me to do, I want to do what I want to do. So what do you think I should do?"

    "You can drop off the face of the earth for all I care! And that's a promise!"

    There are about a million more in this movie. See? You're a great writer.
     
  4. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    When I first started thinking about my current novel's idea, I kept comparing it to Harry Potter and LOTR. That was the worst thing I could have ever done.
    So I learned that instead of comparing them to my work and feeling all sad and lazy about it, I'd rather motivate myself. If they could do it, I can do it. The only thing it takes is time and effort, willing to spare these two? Feel free to feel good about yourself.

    Believe me what you consider great might not always be as great as you think it is and we, as humans, tend to be too critical about our work. So next time you see something great that impresses you just think that you need to work harder to create something that's great in its own unique way. :)
     
  5. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    Mass effect does have a great story, it's one worth an expensive movie or three.

    All doubts and confidence killers I see creeping toward my consciousness I disregard or force down or banish them to the deepest corners of my brain. Luckily I don't have to do that much. Mostly it's the opposite with me - if I see something great it makes want to go on even more. Because every time I see something great and better it reminds me of what I myself am capable of, the only obstacle between my current state and that goal are long and, probably, tiresome years of learning.
    Every time I see something 'miraculous' or 'extraordinary', mostly in movies and games, I start thinking of possibilities of how it could be so. Taking in account the 'rules' of the world it happened or occurred in, in case there is any significant difference from ours.
    I find it hard to lose confidence, especially considering the kind of ideas and thoughts I already have for creating stories. They are rather small and young at the moment but they will grow massive and at least great, I simply won't accept less.

    Also, games are made by a large number of people, while other creators of stories work mostly alone.
     
  6. TheSilverBeetle
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    TheSilverBeetle Member

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    I always lose confidence. Stephen King? Oh man is that a guy to compare to but there are also books I read when I think "Hey I can do this." Like the Hunger Games for one.
     
  7. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Not really. If I saw something similar to my idea, and it was done better, sure I might think 'what am I wasting my time on this for?' but I've never seen anything like my idea. And everything out there which is not as good as my idea just makes me believe in it even more :D
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Not discouragement, for me, but there's definitely a sense of challenge and the bar being raised.
    But that's okay - I like competition. :)
     
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  9. Cerrus
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    Cerrus Senior Member

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    I'm never lose confidence when I read a good story. It usually inspires me to write. It sets the goal in my mind that I want to write something just as good if not better.
     
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  10. BlankLink
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    BlankLink Member

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    Oh, I do. But there are a lot of bad works out there as well that have actually been published. This, in turn, lifts my confidence.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No. I enjoy seeing good writing, and getting inspiration from it. It's another opportunity to learn.
     
  12. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    Nope. Or I'd have never learned what good writing is. In contrast, I'd have never learned what some bad writing is. There has been times when I've thought: "Wow, I never really would have thought of that," but that's always in context of the story.
     
  13. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Yes, especially when I see really good movies with a great story or great action. I feel dwarfed by it as if someone raised a bar I couldn't possibly leap. But I continue anyway. I just want to write something out. Doesn't matter if it's the best or not.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Not for me. I'm inspired by great writing. I may never get there, but it shows me what is possible in my chosen medium. Reading writers like James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, Anthony Burgess, and others teaches me to aim high. I won't always score, but if I do, then WOW!
     
  15. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    I lose confidence when I see how much money the idea has made. I'm not a big fan of money (meaning I don't see it as drive like a lot of people do), but it sure as heck would be nice to make a lot of money like JK Rowling did with Harry Potter. Despite your opinions on her series, it made her extremely wealthy. I'd love for something like that to happen, and that's what demotivates me or makes me lose confidence. I see good stories as motivation though!
     
  16. There_She_Goes
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    There_She_Goes Member

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    I definitely do. But don't worry, it's not rare at all. In fact, most writers feel puzzled if they're either forced or just inclined to compare their texts with other peoples texts. The same reaction can be seen when a writer has to prove himself/herself to another person (for example a teacher... :S)
     
  17. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    I'm not. When I look some good quality movie (Idea, Conversation mechanism and Montages) and mostly it was short movie, I feel like Cogito. It's another opportunity to learn.
     
  18. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Reading or watching great stuff has always inspired me no end. Made me want to do better.

    That doesn't mean my confidence doesn't take a knock at times. But I try to put those things into perspective; use them as means of learning more
    and growing as a writer etc.
     
  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I enjoy reading/watching great material but also it makes me depressed sometimes about my own abilities. With the movies, I keep reminding myself that it's usually teams of people working on the screenplay, wardrobe, casting, stage props, camera work the whole lot, I can't compete with that. But awesome books inspire me, they make me feel that if I try hard enough, I might be that good some day :)
     
  20. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    no, I don't, I find they inspire me and try to learn something from them.
     
  21. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just think I want to be able to do that lol. I'm currently working on a detective novel and a sit-com script and I want them to be that good.
     
  22. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.
    Watching a good film/reading a well-written book makes me want to write.
     
  23. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Good writing inspires me. Good films entertain me. Games are irrelevant.
     
  24. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    Why are games irrelevant? Pac-Man or Halo or Call of Duty, sure. Those are visual displays. They have no stories or characters to speak of. But Mass Effect, Dragon Age- games like those have writing better than most movies.
     
  25. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Perhaps he's an ancient old fart? Games are mostly irrelevant to this demographic. Oh, Don't forget Metal Gear.
     

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