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  1. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Inner, not-so-private, socios of creativity

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Boger, Feb 11, 2015.

    I don't know how to explain it but it happens. I think I'm on to something, it's enjoyable, kind of unique, and a fun project and so on. Then I look away for a break and see what's about to happen to next following days. How real it is when people say "I think of something or invent something and don't do anything with it until I find out somebody else has, independently or not"? Imminent.

    I turn on the TV. A movie I've never seen before and it represents the same things I was going to write. Coincidence? I type something in Google and come across something that has nothing to do with it but tried the link in the search result. A n e-book using just about the same idea I had in mind. TV again. Zap. Conversation I need to use. Zap. Fitting scenery I didn't think of yet. It just goes on until every aspect of what I thought was going to be my creation's covered. What kind of Donnie Darko type writer's block is that? I know, it's very easy to just declare that I'm not as unique as I thought, but I don't live under a rock and if all these things were so evident, why do they bubble up to my surface only after and almost directly as a result of when I take a moment to try to create something I envisioned and never seen before? Am I just naive and young?

    I can't be the only one. Is this a commonly accepted obstacle to somehow overcome as a writer? Is this normal, and something to gain experience from? Or would you be susceptible to say I'm either a telekinetic prodigy or just a schizophrenic with information barrier deficiencies (as in; I did hear and see those subjects before and translated them into a combined fantasy only claiming the invention was ''mine'' like a retard). I would've come up with those explanations, I am just as skeptical. But they aren't fitting, or not falsifiable in any way so it is useless to say this is the answer. If it is true I should give up.

    I don't know why it it happens, and it is surely informative but also slightly surreal. Anyone knows anything, or should I beg my god to quit making fun of me from above? Or what... ? I'm an atheist...

    If you're like "You shouldn't talk about it here or anywhere", well, I'm only checking to see if someone has a useful, resourceful reaction. My question isn't that useless, I hope. All I can say is I do everything alone, I normally don't talk about this stuff at all... It's probably best not to worry too much, I know that already. So inquiring about it is no bad thing. Or should I throw away everything I know and realize I've been wrong about everything all the time? I'm not that rigid, but that's just silly and radical...

    sigh
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  2. RachHP
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    RachHP Contributing Member

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    Hi Boger,
    first of all, I sympathise. That sounds like a really disheartening experience and I can only agree it entirely sucks. Saying that, don't let the fact something close to what you were planning put you off writing - you can make something entirely different out of the same combination of factors, so maybe it's still worth attempting?

    Secondly, your post reminded me of a random verse that I'm sharing not for it's religious benefit, but as a generic philosophy that I think stands to reason...
    Ecc 1 v 9 - "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Especially in writing, there just isn't a great likelihood of complete brand-spankingly new, never seen before material....and that's fine. It shouldn't scare you from trying to come up with something awesome.

    Randomly, I've read a lot of research on 'creativity' (it was related to my degree) and although 'original'/entirely new things/ideas are (arguably) a statistical impossibility, many students of the creative process focus more on the fact that the process is about YOU as the creative individual. 'originality' applies and can be merited as such, even if it's only 'new' idea or concept to you. It doesn't have to be completely new to society as a whole.

    So, If you didn't watch this film previously or pick up similar cues from trailers being in the background etc ;) then give yourself the credit you deserve: you came up with something new and original and just because someone else assembled the same elements, it doesn't undermine what you achieved or change the fact it was "something [you] envisioned and never seen before".

    The tv/film/google experience itself just sounds like you were in a particularly creative frame of mind and you were just drawing threads of ideas together and finding they resonating in what you were watching/reading. It's happened to me a few times and I try to frame it more as being in research mode - you're storing up bits and pieces subconsciously as inspiration and I wouldn't call that a bad thing.

    As for a useful, resourceful action...All I can suggest is roll with it. Roll with the cosmic punch, brush yourself off and carry on regardless. If you have an idea and do the work on it, it counts - so go for it.
     
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  3. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Originality stems from your own unique vision--a filter honed in the present and shaped by the past. I don't fret whenever a story or movie comes out that might bear similarities to a story I'm writing. Why? That writer has a different voice and vision than I do. You either tell it better or show it in a different perspective.

    I agree with RachHP that nothing is new under the sun. The archetypes and tropes had been vetted out, and the creations thus far are iterations of it. Think of the airplane and how it was initially designed--it sucks. But without it, there would be no airplanes. What we have now are enhancements made on the design of the airplane. I'd say it's the same for us artists.
     
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  4. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    It's kind of impossible to take a stance on this. I'd just take it as motivational, since I'm on a roll somehow that has great potential to turn into something considerate...

    By the way my anus is bleeding
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    :)Don't worry too much about it. Everything I write is a patchwork of things I think, saw, watched, heard, read.

    So is a lot of other writers and creators. For example look at Bugs Bunny his carrot chewing is taken from Clark Gable in a scene from It happened one night, and one of his best lines ( Of course you realize this means war! ) is taken from Groucho Marx - in fact a lot of his behavior is based on the Marx brothers, and What's up Doc? was actually a very familiar expression in Texas at the time they were doing the cartoons.

    The only thing to shy away from is taking too much from one source. This is where dud rip-off books & movies come from. ( though notice they still get produced and sold? :) ) If you're worried about it branch out into something new - read something or watch something or talk to someone you normally wouldn't. It might give you some fresh perspectives.
     
  6. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guarantee you anyone who has tried to write before has run into this problem. It's just the way this thing works. The only way to make it better is to keep doing what you can to make yourself better at it.

    Read,(books & research) Write, Collaborate, Gain some perspective on the problem. :)
     
  7. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    I mean it's one thing to be inspired by your surrounding, but it's something else when your surrounding becomes a collage of what thought you genuinely came up with... I've always had a slight difficulty discriminating between the mind versus matter gap. Nowhere in philosophy are guidelines for these experiences or getting in control over this issue, so all I can do logically is try to sum up my own set of rules of the fascinating unseen, but more necessarily blame my personality for it. I gain from it just about as much as I think I'm flawed in other places. :) And yeah I also invest in myself, I've recently picked up a bunch of thrillers to read for exp. I'm not even that into thrillers.
     
  8. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well as a matter of fact I was just talking about this over the last few days in another thread. But if you really want to learn

    Ahem.

    Excuse me; pardon me;


    It's a bit of a task, to think about these things and then to figure out how they can help but, I'm sure they can. Don't be afraid to change your ideas about core concepts of your story. You need to think of an idea that you can be really passionate about and keep working on that idea, don't give up on it. It's just not evolved enough. In the end it might be something totally different, but it will be unique, something you can be proud to call yours.
     
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  9. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Tarantino's morality is deep. It says "Dear viewer, you probably know this is sick and would never happen in real life. Seek help if you aspire these activities in any way. Make sure to clearly tell people to stay away from you if you identify with these characters". If it's not confrontational, it's deeply reassuring. It adds nothing to the immersive mechanical social roulette, the prude, shy, conservative nature of the spirit of the age that encapsulates civilization. It only exaggerates, and I hope demotivates the psychopathic nature of the few predators among us.

    It takes a noble (in my eyes heroic) pioneer to change the heart of the rigid, numb, dumb, erratic, patronizing ignorant, ostentatious illiterate, to simply acknowledge and accept the tools of the dismissed, "aint nobody got time fo dat", spacious, aesthetic philosophy. It's as if there's a consensus saying; if it can't be formulated down into a bite-sized proverb, it's probable not worth paying attention to (as if the intelligence wouldn't suffice for these -commonly intellectual- free motions).

    In my opinion there's a poignant lack of archaism that allows for breathing space of the highly insecure earthed ceiling of the averages gnosis. It would even create a consent that prevents bullying. But not daring to stick out ones neck and not daring to cross the road, even being as insidious, consummate, of cutting off heads of the exposed necks, and intentionally driving into people who cross the road, out of envy and fear of being exposed and think fear equals rule, and logically follow the road of least resistance; the road of the most afraid, the feared; a road of constraint. It's not interesting like for example the amazonian pride intelligentsia is to explore for it's mysterious qualities, a different division if not raped and depraved, like you would pursue in evasion if you'd realize there's no use. A miserable pursuit resulting in heartbreak, potentially an abyss of rehearsal of patterns, a cage, a theater of perversion called relationship.

    Who'd like to sit down with a psychopath, look it in the eyes, deflect them and try to make see and accept that what was done was wrong, not archaically but truly realizing on their knees and woeful. There's no way without archaic imagery of which I can't imagine the magnitude, I say archaic but if it does not exist yet, I should say a system that has the same properties of archaic systems and should count as one, specified. I do need to investigate the nature of archaism in order to understand if such a thing is possible to construct, if it's not already done before. Maybe if I'm even going to attempt to write about a character who actually needs to do this kind of work, we'll see... Example:

    What's the use of second chances? It's only letting one live in prolonged hell; because that's what it must be like. This chance should be given only in this consent; not because of the whole superstitious crap. The superstition's only a promise to trust that elevation is a direct result of the allowed second chance for the patiently waiting, but leaves one to realize "I still have my dignity" and "I could have taken theirs". But dignity is bliss and ignorance is blight. Or the same thing? Just hope it takes away any sense of gnawing vengeance. Is it derived from experience? Second hand? Superstition is not intuition, it's its rapist.

    Psychology is a fact and puts any philosophy known to man in perspective. It's whiny and I admit not beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  10. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most likely you are getting the thing backwards. Fragments of plots and stories exist all around us all the time. But when you come up with an idea, you mind becomes aware and sensitised to that particular idea or pattern and you begin to spot it all over the place.

    Have faith in your vision and complete your story. Then have someone look at it. If their first reaction is "Hey, isn't this the plot and characters of xxxxx?" then you'll know you've produced a clone. However I think it is unlikely.
     
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  11. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    That's what I wanted to hear

    Edit: I really prefer to write a thing at once to finish it in one go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  12. Skaruts
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    Skaruts Member

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    Your preference to write things in one go, wouldn't that be a sign of a tendency to rush things?

    If it works for you to write it all at once, then by all means do it. But I wonder if maybe you might want to consider a more patient approach with certain projects.

    About the rest, I'd like to add one thing Stephen King mentioned in the introduction for his book Wolves Of The Calla (The Dark Tower series), that had he attempted to create his own fantasy world when he was nineteen, he would've essencially replicated Tolkien's. Thus he let his ideas be for as long as it took for them to grow into something he felt good about.

    I fell for that trap myself in the first fantasy stories I attempted to write. They were a shameful mix of Tolkien and D&D, and I only realised what was wrong when I read that introduction from Stephen King.

    It's easy to let other works influence ours too much when we're thrilled (and in my case inexperienced). So we gotta keep a watchful eye on that, and sometimes we have to be patient.
     
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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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    To be honest, my first fantasy idea was a half-assed version of The Legend of Zelda, Game of Thrones, Dragonball Z, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Elder Scrolls all stitched together in this deformed ball of WTF-ery. It's perfectly natural to have your ideas be influenced by other works otherwise how would we be inspired? When we see something that awes us, that fascinates us, we get the urge to replicate it with our own characters. The trick, as I'm starting to learn, is to realize when you're basically just doing a half-assed version of what's already there. Discover what your story is really about, make it unique only to you. There will always be people who say that your story reminds them of another story, but just find the right balance and you should be fine.

    EDIT:
    What's funny is that on the flip-side is, as you've demonstrated in your OP, everything's been done before. A story where a world/country is saved from a threat? Done before. A scene where a character gets over his/her inner demons? Done before. A dialogue where someone gives sage advice/biting remarks/a sarcastic commentary? Been there, done that. As Cogito used to say, what really matters is how you do it, your own unique style and voice. My fantasy that's totally not The Legend of Dragonball Game of Airbender Scrolls might be a pile of crap, but it's my pile of crap. So take your story ideas and write them. Some of them, you might want to publish some day so refine them. Others, you don't so feel free to have your main character be able to bend all the elements and power up to a Super [insert race] while swinging a holy blade and discussing scrolls. :D :p

    *ahem*
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
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  14. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first experience with "inventing something and then finding out someone else already invented it" was when I was writing toy computer programs with no formal education in computer science or software engineering. I invented a few tricks to make my life easier. Some time later, browsing the web, I learned that my "tricks" were actually major concepts in computer science, used in industry and widely studied in academia.

    That made me happy because it meant my ideas worked. It was validating. It encouraged me to continue to use those ideas in my work.

    Ever since then, I have had a positive outlook on the "problem" described in the OP. You need to stop valuing your work because no one else has done it before and start valuing your work because it works.
     
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