1. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    How Difficult Is It for You to Create Ideas Vs. Write Them?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masked Mole, May 25, 2015.

    I was curious to hear everyone's personal experiences about finding inspiration for plots vs. actually putting them on paper. I think we all know "idea men" who never quite execute all their story concepts, yet there are also people who suffer from writer's block and have trouble with ideas.
    I find a good balance (one of the few things I think I do consistently well) between having ideas floating in my brain vs. actually writing them.
    What's your personal experience?
     
  2. Victoria Griffin
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    Victoria Griffin Member

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    I don't typically have problems coming up with ideas. I do have problems remembering them when it's time to write. That's why I have scraps of paper scattered everywhere. I can usually reach down in the nearest purse and literally pull out an idea.

    I had a professor who said that not having any ideas is the worst reason for not writing. I completely agree. Most of us have ideas and fragments of ideas constantly popping into our minds. As long as there is something near—a scrap of paper, a phone, etc.—when those ideas happen, then there is plenty to draw from when it's time to write.

    As far as having ideas without executing them... I've had concepts that seemed like they would make great stories, but when it came down to it they were better in my mind. But a writer who doesn't execute ideas isn't really a writer. After all, a writer is "one who writes."
     
  3. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Creating ideas is the easy part for me writing and expanding on them is a bit harder for me.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Coming up with ideas is quite possibly the easiest part of writing. The hard part is actually sitting down and writing, editing, and polishing your work.
     
  5. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    A lot of my ideas never go anywhere, especially if I can't use them in what's supposed to be my main writing project, because "dang, this is going to be a lot of work and take a while to write and I shouldn't be spending so much time and effort on this particular thing, so I better not start" (an awful philosophy, but I pretty much run on it). It's particularly unfortunate when I'm having an easier time coming up with unrelated ideas than ideas for what I'm supposed to be writing, which is most of the time.

    So, I suppose ideas are easier, but then they're rarely the ones I need.
     
  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thinking thoughts is way easier than expressing those thoughts.
     
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  7. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    That's exactly the kind of trouble I have: expressing and explaining my thoughts and ideas.
    I come up with some pretty wicked ideas which sound amazing in my head.
    When I try to explain them to someone I find myself stuttering and realizing a million things wrong with the idea
    (when it actually makes any sense).
    I haven't experienced writers' block yet, but when I do it will most likely be because I'll have too many ideas to choose from,
    or will find myself unable to develop them.
     
  8. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    Ideas come to me naturally as day-to-day thoughts, but actually writing them is a different beast entirely.
     
  9. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think you're going to find the vast majority of us say the ideas are the easy part.
    While there are lots of less creative people about, do many of them actually want to become writers in the first place?
    There's many reasons that writers become blocked, I don't think that coming up with the overall idea is a particularly common one. -and that's all the 'ideas only' people tend to manage.

    Some people struggle to come up with the smaller ideas needed to join their big ideas together into a coherent story, though how much of that is a genuine lack of ideas? Sometimes it'll be due to people writing themselves into a corner,or trying to jam ideas together even though they don't belong together, or not understanding story structure, or not knowing how to time skip the boring bits, etc.
     
  10. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    Finding inspiration for plots is not usually a problem for me. I either just pick up my pen and write or I have a notebook full of random ideas and half written stories. I do find that writing to paper is easier than writing to the PC.

    Does anyone else find this?

    Plothog makes a good point
    I mainly 'try' to write poetry and while I'm never short of ideas (I have a stack of notebooks filled with unfinished poems. I am the worlds worst procrastinator. :( I've also written a novel and many short stories which I need to complete. Sigh... I spend far too much time socializing :D

    :D Hey, I'm the same! I also record ideas down on scraps of paper which I then translate into half written poems or stories.

    That's why there is a hole in the ozone layer. Some of us are full of hot air :meh:
     
  11. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    I find they both work together I start with ideas I write the details, then think up more ideas.

    but editing is hard....
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting replies, cus I'm the exact opposite. I usually get the premise for a story quite easily but then I get stuck expanding on that idea. In short, no, ideas don't come to me easily I feel :bigfrown:

    However, I've honestly never struggled to write anything I wanted to. If the idea's there, writing it is easy. Writing someone else's idea is equally easy (assuming I'm interested in that idea). For me, it's never been the writing that's hard, which recently led me to think perhaps I'd make a pretty good ghost writer actually... :ohno:

    Problem is I'd rather write what I want and from being a writer and talking to writers on here, I know writers would be a difficult bunch to work with :bigtongue: for a start because we're all so fiercely protective of our ideas and visions. Just imagine working with someone who didn't have the writing skills to write the book themselves, and trying to explain why doing something this way or that way wouldn't work, why I think certain details are best omitted for effect, why that part of the story isn't really necessarily... ugh :blech: It's hard enough to explain all that stuff to aspiring writers who do understand this kinda thing - imagine trying it with someone who didn't really know... would be a nightmare. Or so I'd imagine.

    Now I wanna hear what an actual ghost writer might say... :ghost:
     
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  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm the same way as Mckk, I think. I'm great at coming up with a basic premises and interesting characters that I think are awesome. I'm not so great at expanding on the premises and adding in the sub-plots to tie the whole thing together into one coherent story. I also have little to no understanding of scale just yet. Right now I'm writing a sci-fi that's looking like it's going to be between a short story and a novel, rather than a full-blown novel by itself. And I had originally intended to make it a novel.
     
  14. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    When I finally do sit down and write, it is only then that I actually get coherent ideas which I become aware of. I write scene by scene, and my ideas are highly constrained and I release them bit by bit on screen. But there are also some general ideas always present in some corner of my mind; foggy images of colors and scenes and feelings. They are rarely firm, clear ideas of plot development. But once I actually start to write... They are just popping out. I have no fear of blank page whatsoever; the blank page is exciting and liberating.
     
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  15. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I think that they can both be difficult to be honest.
     
  16. Anna100
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    Anna100 Member

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    As many others, I come up with ideas all the time, and that has never been a problem for me. What I've learned is that not every idea can be turned into a good story (Or?). I've had many ideas that I find interesting and then started writing, not knowing the plot, or ending, or middle part, or anything at all. :p And honestly, only recently have I started thinking about it (about the writing part, not just the idea). Probably the reason why I have never finished a story.
     
  17. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I have no problem coming up with an idea - it's turning the idea into something I can work with that is a bit of a challenge. Usually my ideas don't come with plots, characters or anything they're just rough scenarios or images. Sometimes I have to sit on them for a while until something comes to me or sometimes I have to brainstorm.
    I'm into tone and angles - I love Jack Kerouac's quote - It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.
    And that's what I'm going for. Once I can find the tone I feel like the project gets a little easier. It's actually not as hard as it sounds I usually write a few practice scenes - sometimes even the first paragraph is enough. There's only been a few projects where I tried writing dry - no trying to find a tone just writing and I have to say with the exception of one piece ( where a dry tone worked ) it's some of my dullest stuff.
     
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  18. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    After joining this forum I have come to understand the story telling is much more difficult than idea creation, furthermore the idea is really very secondary to the telling. Even a weak idea in the hands of a great writer can become a masterpiece. "Old Man and the Sea" is just a story about a guy out fishing, how simple can it get?
     
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  19. wellthatsnice
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    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    broad concept is easy, execution is rough. In my real life i work with angel round investors to connect them with up and coming digital start-ups. Through that job i can tell you, great ideas are a dime a dozen. Great Proof of concept however, is nearly impossible to find.

    I also can't tell you how often i tell people about a start-up im working with, and their response is "thats totally crazy, i had the same idea a couple years ago!?!" Thats cool buddy, but if you didn't put the work in to create, test and tailor the product for the consumer, who cares about your idea?
     
  20. Vrisnem
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    Vrisnem Member

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    It's easy to generate the most basic concept of an idea. Making something out of that idea and developing it into a story is the difficult part for me.
     
  21. Victoria Griffin
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    Victoria Griffin Member

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    Absolutely. The simplest things in life are sometimes the most profound, in capable hands. Vice versa, there is nothing to keep a wonderful idea can becoming a terrible story if poorly executed.
     
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  22. Foxe
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    Foxe Active Member

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    I find that the main ideas are always there for me; premises, themes, plots, interesting characters, scenes. What I struggle with is coming up with is their conclusion.

    I jokingly started thinking that a good work around to this is just to end stories with the protagonist's death. Simple, easy, and probably frustrating to everyone.
     
  23. Azhurel
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    Azhurel Member

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    I am bad at that! I have a hilarious story idea, that I made 2 years ago and still haven't started to write it!
     
  24. ArnaudB
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    Try writing the final scenes first, then work backward or/and from the beginning. It might just work.
     
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  25. J_Downloading
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    J_Downloading Member

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    It often seems that creating ideas is easy, but then when I go to flesh them out into a story they fall short of 'useable'. It takes me quite a bit of thinking about what I want to write before I start to generate useful ideas so I'd say that writing is easier.
     

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