1. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Inspiration From Old Radio Shows Found Online

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jammer, Apr 24, 2010.

    Hi folks.

    I am a brand new member here and I have only just started work on my first fiction book. Yes, I have much to learn, but I thought perhaps this subject might be good to share here.

    The possibility of using old radio shows for inspiration and ideas on writing fiction hit me only yesterday as what could be a great source of inspiration for writing. I have been collecting hundreds of FREE MP3s of old radio shows of which it appears are mostly all in the public domain and can be found for legal download on many websites. (Google search shows many). Please be advise that what I am speaking of is legal to download on many sites.

    I am a fan of The CBS Mystery radio shows which wear aired on AM radio as recently as 1974 to around 1983. Also, such popular shows as Dragnet are legal to download and hundreds were produced from 1949 to 1957. However I am most fond of The CBS Mystery Theater shows which remind me a lot of The Twilight Zone TV shows, with less of a Sci Fi element within them.

    A common IPOD can easily hold thousands of such old time radio shows that have been converted to very small MP3s, some with as low of a bit/sampling rate as mono 32kbps. My 160 gig Ipod Classic is not only full of music but I now use it to listen to thousands of old radio shows that are easily found online.

    I discovered that the way the radio shows wear done could easily be converted word for word to paper, thus it's my personal reasoning that they can inspire new ways of writing fiction. But I am a newbie at this, so it's just one guy's opinion. ;)

    Terry
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Inspiration is one thing, but transcribing them "word for word", or even paraphrasing scene by scene, is plagiarism.

    Writers take inspiration from many sources. We build characters from observing all the people we come in contact with, or get to know through media. We get story ideas from day to day life, from news stories, or by reading/watching other fiction and asking "what if." You might find inspiration in a weird dream, or from a childhood fear, or by hearing the lyrics of a song wrong.

    Inspiration is everywhere.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!... you're skirting the plagiarism precipice there... be careful not to leap smack into a lawsuit, in your search for an alternative to originality...
     
  4. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Sorry folks, I in no way meant that to be taken literally and I am fully aware of such an obvious law and would NEVER steal someone's work. I honestly never even thought of such a thing, it was simply very poorly worded on my part. I was almost in shock when I read the responses. I am speaking of inspiration only that can help get one's creativity moving. As a simple song writer I fully understand what it is like to fear somebody stealing my own ideas and work.

    I apologize for the misunderstanding.

    Terry
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no biggie, terry... just goes to show why we need to chose our words carefully, when posting...

    hugs, m
     
  6. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Swew!

    ' sure glad to clear this matter up. Thanks for your understanding. :)

    I think I owe it to the site to try to further clarify what I was trying to say. For example, I am having problems writing dialog in which the characters are developed enough one can just read a few words and know who is speaking.

    For example: I discovered that by paying attention to how some of the old radio shows were written that it gave me ideas on different methods of writing that could bounce from describing things to jumping into dialog, and back and forth etc.. I would never actually copy down the exact words or even the ideas/concepts of the story, and I should of never said "word for word" in my post. I have much to learn about writing. Otherwise I seek to be as original as possible. It's just there are only so many ways of saying "He Said; She said".

    My best to all of you.

    Terry
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm puzzled, terry...

    i can't imagine why you'd be studying radio shows that are scripted and spoken only, to learn how to write prose that's meant to be read... they're beyond apples and oranges, imo...
     
  8. Jammer
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    Jammer Member

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    Thanks for expressing your puzzlement mammamaia. You make a very valid point I will admit. However it's not apples and oranges to me. ;)

    I seek methods of writing that are a little uncommon and unlike most fiction writings that are published these days. In my early attempts at being original it helps me to get ideas from non book sources. I could more easily sit down and look at how a fiction story is broken down in a popular book and apply such methods of writing to an original story. But I do not wish to write in the most common ways. I strive to be original. I figure that just like in music, I assume most styles of fiction writing have already been, shall we say "invented" or "done". (yeah I tend to over do things such as quotes) :rolleyes:

    To make an analogy of what I am attempting to do, I must use a topic that is most familiar to me, and that is original music. Some would say all music has already been played in one form or another, and I would pretty much have to agree with that in many respects. But do musicians give up on solid original creativity because of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson? Nope. One can change the lyrics all they want, a writer can tell all the stories he/she may want but at some point the fundamental structure of the songs can be changed, and/or written in many new ways and still be musically correct (I like to believe anyway). I feel this applies to writing as well. But I realize I am no expert by a long shot!

    Thus I am seeking non-book sources for ideas on how to put together a book in a more original way... I guess some would say I am attempting to throw out the book on writing a book, while fully realizing that certain rules must always be followed. Much of the reason why I am on this site is to sort out the hard core rules that must always be applied to fiction writing.

    I lean to a style of writing that may read a little more like a screenplay, but I do not wish to be writing screenplays either. Somewhere between how popular Fiction and screenplays are written seems to be what I'm after.

    I admit, this may sound crazy and it may not work. But I truly seek to be as original as I can be and the first thing I feel I must learn is how to write in my own style that is unlike others while still keeping the reader interested.

    I guess I seek to reinvent fire and I figure I will need to develop not only the stories, by hopefully my own original style of writing fiction that does not put off the reader. :D I prefer to start from scratch and when certain things give me ideas I feel very inspired and next even more new ideas come to me.

    There is some irony that my post was taken to imply to copy other author's words and/or ideas, when in reality I seek the opposite- to be a writer with an original style of writing unlike most others. I will admit, I am taking the long way around. But in the long run it is my hope it will pay off.

    If you are still confused as to what I mean, I do not believe there are many other ways to break-down exactly what I am trying to express here. However the goal is to create a fairly original way of writing fiction that still follows the main stream rules within English and Fiction writing.

    Perhaps I am crazy, but I feel I must attempt this first. In the beginning my writing samples may be terrible, but every walking adult must first crawl as a baby. I must first test out the boundaries and feel out the walls before I settle back in to writing a book based entirely on a book about writing a book.

    I do not expect many to follow my logic, and I agree it could be a big waste of time. But I feel I need to create stories that also reflect what I hope will someday be a fairly original style of writing fiction in addition to original stories.

    That's my game plan, and I'm sticking to it (for now). :D

    Cheers.

    Terry

     

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