1. ObsidianVale
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    ObsidianVale Member

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    how do you get out of the box?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ObsidianVale, Oct 1, 2009.

    Somtimes when i am writing i feel like all i can think up are cheesy, cliche, or cooking cuter ideas. So my question is... what do you do to help your self think out side the box?

    Also i have been thinking... i know when im writing im always trying to comes up with original ideas. but of course that is vertually impossible because everything has been done before... ALOT. So do you think a writer is allow to use a certain amount of cheesy idea's if they balancing it out with and equal or greater amount of original ideas? ( as original as they can get.)
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You be yourself and don't worry. Some people call every other book they read a cliche, and I think it's a word that should be reserved for phrases, not story ideas.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Thinking originally/laterally is something you can learn, I think. Take one of your "cheesy" ideas, something that's been done to death, and just start breaking it apart. See what it is exactly that makes that idea so cliche and start thinking of ways to change it up. Start with small changes if that's all you can think of, or ridiculous changes, just focus on changing what was there before, on deconstructing the cliche. Keep asking questions about it, interrogating it, challenging it.
     
  4. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    In my opinion, a writer is someone compelled simply to write. You begin to master your craft as you continue on and your ideas become far more complex, even if they appear to be simple. Writer whatever it is that YOU want to write. Is it good to avoid stereotypes? Of course, but if you never delve into it how can you expect to progress past it?
     
  5. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    It takes time to develope your own feel and style. Starting off where others have left is the first step. Keep developing your characters, your setting and your storylines and eventually they will depart from the typical.
     
  6. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I dont think up story ideas and then write; I write my way into an idea, instead. Sometimes I might try something I never tried before, like using present tense or second person to see what kind of a story emerges. I've also written to particular audiences or used particular word limits, or maybe I began with some piece of a thought or a phrase that's been going round in my head. In any case, I just simply begin with a word and go where it leads me, adding a word, making a phrase, creating a sentence or fragment. Seeing what that makes me feel like, and then creating a moment and another it leads to or comes from, always imagining the character who is experiencing these moments and maybe thinking about what unexpected thing could follow and how best to connect these things into a timeline in some way. At some point a story begins to emerge, and I try to round it out so that the story ends at a place I think is satisfying in some way. I don't think I ever really think about the story as an "idea" at all. I kind of think "ideas" are what my characters might have in their heads. In any case, after I've rounded the corner into a story and polished it off best I can, I could easily tell you what my "story" is about--at least thematically or conceptually.

    Maybe some kind of exercise like this will help you escape from the box you're in. Just don't forget to explore the box before you escape through whatever hole you tear in its corner.;)
     
  7. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    I wrote something really clichish the other day.

    It took me 3 days and a lot of thinking, but I managed to rewrite it/fix it.

    Sometimes, it just takes time!

    That's the only thing I hate about writing. The ideas don't just come instantly!
     
  8. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    To get out of a box:

    1) place a limb over the open end of the box, so that it exits the box and approaches the floor.

    2) Gradually shift weight toward that limb

    3) send reinforcements to that limb, by placing another limb next to it.

    4) Allow your torso to follow this motion


    Here is a pictoral example of this in action (somewhere between steps 3 and 4):
    [​IMG]
     
  9. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Take a day to go out somewhere--anywhere--and observe the world. Everything around you. And with all that happens, ask 'what if?' If a car beside you tries to cut into your lane too fast, ask 'what if?' What if there would have been an accident and the other driver was an escaped convict? What happens next? Or if the other person is the opposite sex and a love-relationship sparks? Or if you see a homeless guy on the street, you can ask what if? Or if you see that the park's fountain water has stopped running. Obviously sitting here and thinking about what you could see isn't as effective as just going out and seeing them. I think this method combines real life (which is not limited to the scope of your imagination...i.e., stuff can happen that you may have never thought up) with your own creative eye.

    Also, the story, characters, and how you write it is more important than the original topic being 'cliche.' What I mean is that there are many successful books/movies out there that are just, at their core, rehashes of the same old concepts, but their value is in the characters, the unique way the author threads the story around that concept, and the writing itself.

    Good luck.
     
  10. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    I think the cheese and cookie cutters you are talking about relate to writing style. Until you develop your own writing style you'll probably be mimicing other popular writers and cliche' stuff. Just keep writing and you'll grow out of it ;)

    All of my ideas start as a direct rip-off of something I saw or read. All of them. But I let them simmer for a while and tweak them with the life lessons I'm learning as I go. Then I search for ways to merge them with other ripped off ideas. After enough time, development and merging of thoughts the original thing gets lost and I come up with something more or less 'original'. I say that if it feels un-oroginal to you, its just not ready yet. Keep developing it, adding to it and combining it with other ideas, and eventually you won't even recognize where the original idea came from.
     
  11. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pay attention to the details. Say your farmboy-king gets his hand on the legendary sword of legend, but your farmboy-king is a clumsy woolhead and drops it. It lands on his foot. Wa-la! You have a story changing injury and a source of secondary conflict.
     
  12. Mark R
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    Mark R Member

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    i was stuck in clicheland when i first started writing.. everything was fantasy stereotype and i couldn't get out of it.

    so i just wrote it anyway.

    it was garbage and went straight into the bin, but it exorcised the cliche demons. since then i've been a bit more creative.
     
  13. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

    -Albert Einstein
     
  14. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I would stick to the cliche for sure. It sells. Just look at how cliche cups are! Yes some one invented a glass and a mug, but its pretty much all the same thing.
     
  15. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Square mugs never sold well. You always end up spilling out the corners.
     
  16. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    But diamond shaped mugs on the other hand...
     

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