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  1. jackten
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    jackten New Member

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    I love x kind of stories but only seem to come up with y stories...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jackten, Jul 11, 2008.

    I'm very new to writing, have half a dozen started and thrown out screenplays and short stories. My question and dilemma is that:

    - I like smart, heartfelt, dramas about life, like Californication and American Beauty.

    but

    - I only seem to come up with ideas for soulless blockbuster type movies based on "cool" what if this crap happened in the future scenarios...

    I know in the early stages I should just practice writing, whatever it is, but can anyone offer any thoughts on my problem? Maybe its just because I'm young and have little life experience or something? I really don't have much to draw on to write the stuff I love to watch and read.

    Cheers
     
  2. Kirby Tails
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    Kirby Tails Member

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    Well, maybe the problem is that you are just far too exposed to the kinda of stories that you write, and they just tend to sep into your mind. Perhaps it'd be better to read some more unique stories rather than just watch movies. Of course, I really don't know you or your lifestyle, so I could be way wrong here. What's an example of a kind of movie you keep thinking of?
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... but before you 'practice' you have to 'learn'!... and to do that, you must study the kind of writing you want to do...

    that's definitely part of it, i'm sure... but being young and inexperienced is only your current state... the young part will be taken care of, no matter what you do... as will knowing more about 'life'... in the meantime, you can still study, learn, practice, if you have the passion and patience it takes to be a writer... the latter is hard for a youngster to develop or maintain, but it's a vital requisite...

    whose fault is that?... you can get books from the library, buy ones you can afford, watch movies, read scripts by the pros, etc., can't you?... so, what's keeping you from doing that?... anything?

    if you want free lessons on screenwriting or any other form of the writer's art, drop me a line... otherwise, you can find some good how-tos and/or classes online or at your local community college...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  4. jackten
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    jackten New Member

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    Thanks guys. BTW I'm 28 incase people are thinking I'm 18 or something from that young comment :)

    Kirby, usually stuff like.. whatd happen if there was no one left on earth? Maybe "this or that" caused it, which turns into some variation on a post-apocalyptic world or alien invasion or something along those lines. Stuff that seems cool but doesnt translate into meaningful prose! Like Shamalans new movie!!! :) hehe

    mamma, surely I don't want to draw on other movies/novels too much, otherwise its going to become a rip off, right?

    Thanks for your offer on the writing lessons. I might take you up on that if I stick at writing this time (I seem to start and stop all the time!), I dont want to waste anyone elses time! I dont know why but everytime I come up with something I like, I write it for a month or two then eventually either hate my idea or become bored/lose interest with the idea :(
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you tried reading the stories you like from a different angle?

    I often read bppks more than once, with the first an dsecond reads in quick succession.

    The first reading is to become immersed in the story, and to see how it all turned out. But if there was something about the style that made me take notice, I'll reread it looking at HOW the author wrote the story. I look at the author's choices of words, the point of view used, how dialogue is written, everything I can think of. I also take special notice of places in the story that seem weak, and I try to figure out why.

    Don't expect brilliant revelations the first time you do this. But the more you read this way, the easier it becomes to discover fragments of brilliant writing.

    The only downside - you'll find it harder to read a badly written book all the way to the end.
     
  6. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I haven't seen the movies you mention, but based on how you describe them, the type you LIKE and want to write focus a lot on characters' emotions and personal interactions, whereas the type you keep ENDING UP writing focus on action and plot, correct?

    I think that's the main obstacle you have. Not the plots or ideas, but the way you focus on them. You can have a cool "What if?" scenario about the end of the world or a huge disaster or whatever and still turn it into a heartfelt drama about life...if you focus on the characters' emotions and interactions instead of on the CRASH BANG BOOM!!

    I like a big disaster movie as much as anyone else but the one thing that always niggles at me about them is how they either avert the final disaster or there's a big special-effects climax with it, then the movie's over, the end. There's never any resolution about what happens to the characters afterward. For example, the asteroid just hit the Earth, and there are some survivors, and the president says they'll rebuild, the end. Well--what next?? What about the tribulations the people are going to go through? The restructuring of society? How will this affect everybody? What will their new daily challenges be? What happens THEN?? Since these are big action movies, they of course can't focus on these heartfelt, dramatic things and the movies just end there.

    Just try taking one of your big cool "What if?" moments and writing it, instead of with all the explosions and flashing lights and such in mind, from the much smaller, more personal point of view of the characters involved, how they react, what they feel, the decisions they make. The things that most of us would take for granted until we're put in such a situation. In disasters, most of us don't even think about saving the world. We just think about saving ourselves and the people around us. We think about our families and friends and what will happen to them. Small-scale things. I think this is the main difference between the types of stories you mentioned. Don't focus on the big scale, focus on the small scale. The character emotions, not the special effects.

    Just my two cents. :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's NOT the reason to study them... to learn how to write anything, one must read lots of what one wants to write... and by immersing yourself in what others have written successfully, you should get a feel for what works and what doesn't, the countless ways a single subject can be approached and dealt with, and so on... doing that need not lead you to rip off anything, unless you're so devoid of your own ideas you choose to...
     

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