1. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    How Do You Know What Idea To Keep?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CosmicHallux, Aug 24, 2011.

    I've never tried to write a novel until now. I read that you should just write it, even if it's bad. So I just chose a genre, "Paranormal Romance", but it doesn't seem to fit.

    It was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a werewolf woman and a vampire. But now, she has discovered this crime ring of vampires who abduct illegal Mexican immigrants to farm for blood (as they are crossing the Sonora). There seems to be a lot of exploitation of immigrants and domestic violence in it. I have no idea what I am doing.

    I don't even know what genre this is anymore or why she is a werewolf. I don't know if it's a good plot--I am not sure if I should continue to write this. Most of my ideas have been Sci-Fi, but I don't read Sci-Fi so I don't see why I should write it.

    How do you know when to go with an idea or when to drop it? What kind of planning do you do before you start a piece of work? Would you want to read a story about this? I don't understand who would want to read this. Do you write to a genre?

    Thanks for any suggestions. I can't figure out if I am neglecting my first novel because I am being a procrastinator, or because it is going nowhere.

    Thanks again for any suggestions or insights.

    Edit: I bet the title should read, "How Do You Know Which Idea To Keep?" I think I hate English right now.
     
  2. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    My biggest suggestion is just to drop the genre, it doesn't matter while you are writing the story. When the story is complete you can go about figuring out the genre but until then just write the story. It doesn't surprise me that it changed from the original idea so just keep up with it and see where it goes.
     
  3. Admin
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    ^ I agree with Rassidan on dropping the genre. I also find it helps to incorporate some real life experiences into a novel, even if it's, say, high fantasy. This way you have something to draw off of when you write, so it flows much more naturally. I also find that it helps to sit down and think of themes and symbols you want represented in your novel. Most novels have themes in them regardless if the author decided there would be or not, but it would help inspire you and inadvertently help you develop an actual plot. I hope some of this helped, and good luck in all of your endeavors!
     
  4. Milhouse2011
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    Milhouse2011 New Member

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    My advice would be just to vent your spleen. Don't think about the plot, characters, any of that stuff. Just write it as you see it and you can hammer out the finer points afterwards.

    NOTE: I'm not an established Writer, so this advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  5. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    Thanks, I like the idea of dropping the genre. I originally (before I got serious about writing a novel) got inspired from a news article about Macho B, the last American jaguar (who died).
    Then, the story was about a woman who spontaneously transformed into a humanoid jaguar. She dropped her job and lost contact with family and became an outcast, and was going to meet a scientist who would eventually become a close friend.
    Then she was going to visit this genius scientist in the rainforest who was working on technology that would enable humans to communicate with other living and non-living forms.

    But I thought "no one cares about humanoid animals, they like werewolves--and of course I'll have to throw in a couple of vampires." I wanted more structure and I thought a genre would give that to me.

    Venting my spleen sounds pretty good right about now. I think about the symbols a lot, and that seems to help me to understand where the novel is going, although my subconscious does a good job of spreading out the symbols without my consent. For example, the jaguar became symbolic of Mexican heritage, and the blurred border of Mexico and the US (since jaguars used to range across the border but are now considered non-American.) And it also became symbolic of the way that humans structure hierarchy--by race, sex, and species.
     
  6. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I'm sorry I would rather read the one with the Jaguar than the werewolf. Werewolves are just too familiar and the jaguar has a different feel to it. There is going to be a point where people start to get sick of vampires and werewolves and I think that point might be coming real fast.
     
  7. Admin
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    And zombies have been done to death, so no voodoo in the story.

    I mean, unless you wanna give me another zombie novel. I'd read it. XD
     
  8. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    I really like mythology and the supernatural, so I was thinking about researching Mayan or Aztec Mythology, but I don't know how I feel about writing about gods. In some ways I want to, but I am still slightly afraid of getting struck by lightning. Magic is really important to me.

    I agree that vampires, werewolves, and zombies can only be interesting for so long. But what will infest the public imagination next?
     
  9. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    Actually I was totally intrigued with your jaguars, they seem so much more real to what you are wanting to do. It sounds like an actual idea that YOU wanted. Who gives a fart what Joe public wants. If you have a story that needs telling tell it!
     
  10. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Same thing you do for everything else. If you want to do something, do it. Other people will judge your actions for themselves - what they think should have no influence on what you write.
     
  11. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    No telling what the next hot topic will be but my guess is supernatural is going to end up like elves in fantasy. You either read it because your familiar with it or you avoid it. Unless of course someone can revamp the concept of the story then who knows what will happen.

    As for zombies I don't really care for them but I must admit some of the stuff they are writing sounds funny. Hell I almost picked up Lincoln Vampire Hunter just because the premise sounds funny. And Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...really.
     
  12. Admin
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    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is actually a very good book, for it keeps the same core themes and characters of P&P, while making it more enjoyable for less sophisticated readers, or people who just don't wanna read something like that.
     
  13. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the encouragement to just write what I need to write. I feel a lot better after reading all the posts on this thread.

    I liked Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. They were funny. I have to admit that Pride and Prejudice with Zombies was much more entertaining than Jane Austen's version (I'm such a bad English Major).

    That is an interesting suggestion, Rassidan, that people might "read it because it is familiar." That is part of the reason why I read it now. Maybe that shows how the genre is slowing down.
     
  14. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    I've never been a fan of the whole vampires and werewolves thing, even before Twilight! But if there were ever a book in this genre I might have picked up, I certainly won't now because the genre just feels dirty to me.

    I don't like to avoid things just because they have been done before, that's not usually how I choose books... But something about those recurring plots / characters just rubs me the wrong way.

    I say: Jaguars!
     
  15. Admin
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    The problem with today's werewolf and vampire books is that they are all love stories. Dracula and wolf-man are amazing stories.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Both have romantic elements as well, however.

    i have werejaguars in the story I've been working on for a while now. I agree that they're cool :)
     
  17. Admin
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    You miss the point. I'm dissing the new fad. Just go with it. ;D
     
  18. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Yes they had romantic elements but they did not take center stage like the majority of vampire and werewolf books written lately. I would argue this more but just look at the popularity of romance novels themselves. It is just too bad that this new trend is killing the genre for those who wish to write something more serious.
     
  19. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    Some of the oldest romances that I have read featured were-people, like Marie de France's "Yonec" and "Bisclavret" (though that's not really a "romance" by modern standards). She wrote in the 12th C.

    I'm not into the whole demon from hell, vampire/witch thing. I read some of "The Hammer of the Witches" and I think it's BS, though slightly entertaining (in a "what the hell was wrong with people back then?" sort of way). I'm absolutely convinced that the clerics who participated in the witch hunts were a whole lot more evil, as a group, than the people they burned for consorting with demons.

    One of my favorite aspects of the more modern paranormal bestsellers, like Harry Potter and Twilight, is that the paranormal is being redeemed, and viewed with more fascination than abhorrence. But there is a fine line between viewing a vampire in a redemptive light, and making him Fabio with a fashionable set of teeth.

    I really don't like vampires very much, which is probably why they are taking the form of racist anti-immigrants in the story. I am mostly attracted to this genre because of the were-people and witches (Rowling uses werewolves, but not vampires, but I'm afraid that excluding vampires is too limiting). I was thinking about making the vampires more of were-bats who, as a group, think they are different from (and superior to) other were-people. It seems kind of awkward and unromantic though--a guy who turns into a bat? Gah--I think I'll just vent my spleen and stop over-thinking it.

    Edit: The more I read about vampires, the less I think I should be using them, and the were-bat thing just seems dumb. I'll think about it for a few more days and then I will probably start over again. I only have 3000 words. If I can find a way to legitimately use vampires--like, to represent some kind of misguided notion of supremacy, or to suggest that abuse (spousal abuse) is a choice and not a disease--then I will have to build my fictional world up to support them.
    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Writing to a genre was a bad idea for my first novel.
     
  20. Admin
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    I actually really like the were-bat idea. It keeps the vampire in the story, but under a new alias, and allows you to pretty much make up whatever you want about these new vamps.
     
  21. Logan | Aspire
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    Logan | Aspire New Member

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    I agree and disagree with the statement. Of course writing the story regardless of your feelings gives you experience, but you don't establish a connection with the story if you continue. When I write I want to really feel the story and be inspired, and therefore if I were to attempt to write a novel I'd be sure to have a connection with it on a personal level. Although this is just an opinion and will differ from person to person.

    -Logan
     
  22. Admin
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    I agree that this is important, but as is common with professional authors, you sometimes just have to power through something and make it work, even if you aren't feeling it. Publishing companies don't like to wait on something that you promised you'd deliver, but now you don't feel the inspiration like you once did.
     
  23. Logan | Aspire
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    Logan | Aspire New Member

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    Yes I'd agree with that... It just depends; Would you rather have passion in the story and take more time, or would you rather simply continue writing to get it done?
     
  24. AJSmith
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    AJSmith Senior Member

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    I agree with this. :)
     

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