1. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Methods to write unique

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by w176, Jul 3, 2010.

    What is you view and method to keep what you write unique and original? And lets discuss and debate other take on the subject as well.
     
  2. Show
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    I don't really think you can have such a method. Everything's been done before to a point. I guess the closest thing I have to a method is reminding myself that regardless of how similar these people are to other literary characters, nobody had THEIR story before. I as a human know I haven't gone through anything somebody else hasn't before, and the same is true for my characters. Sure, their story may have much in common with other stories, but only this is THEIR story.

    If I keep that in mind, I guess I can try to make myself unique and original. I am not trying to revolutionize the fiction world. I am telling the stories of characters I care about, my characters. That motivates me to make their story good as well. I can never be 100% original, but only I can tell the story of THESE particular characters and the things they experience. Maybe somebody else told a better story of other characters who had similar lives, and I am okay with that. As long as I am true to my characters, I feel my writing's uniqueness will be able to come on it's own. IMO, it's all proper frame of mind.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Pick the obvious choice" is the motto I tell stories from.
    Its from Keith Johnstones book "Impro" with is a book on improvisational theatre, well worth a read to anyone interested in telling stories and usually available at the library. (Awesome read for everything to understanding status in dialogue to for to make characters)

    The idea behind it is that if you strive to be original and clever you will usually just screw it up. Your take on things will either feel stretch and untrue, or freaky and odd. Or you will freeze up unable to come up with anything "smart and original enough".

    Johnstones idea is that the right thing to do is just pick that seems natural and obvious to you. Because then your unique experience and world view will shine through. You subconscious will be working for you, what ever you thinks interesting in stories will affect what pops up as obvious. It will be easy and pain free way to chose course and the final product will feel truer, be unique for reals and your mental handiwork will have gone into making the obvious idea as good as possible instead of looking for the perfect "clever and original idea".

    That is my view on it anyway.
     
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    ^^^^I can agree with that. Everyone is trying so hard to stand out from the pack and sometimes the one who stands out the most is the one who isn't. So I agree, write what comes naturally to you. It's all you can really do to create a genuine story.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't worry about it. Find your own writing voice. That is what will make your writing unique.

    By all means, do not go out of your way using unusual points of view or narrative voice, and don't go nuts with quirky plot twists. There are many thousands of amateurs competing by trying exactly that, and amateurs they shall remain.

    Tell a good story, and tell it well. YOU are already unique, so let your true self show. Your humor, your passion, your warmth will shine throiugh your writing when you stop trying to be different.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since I have lived away from Europe for nearly 25 yrs, and I spent most of my childhood all over the world, I find that looking at Western culture from an outsider's viewpoint makes for a different 'feel'. My most successful stories have had the MC visiting England for the first time. I also like the time travelling idea, like a Rip van Winkle story or the the fantastic 'Life on Mars' (the script is on the BBC writers website at the mo), where everything seems alien because of time difference.
     
  7. theSkaBoss
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    Well, I just like to plunder my mind, personally. I'm a fantasy writer, and it's my job to grab you, the reader, by the throat, and toss you off reality and into a roiling sea made of my imagination. I'm not saying I try and write more than I can handle, or that I write unnaturally. But the only way I can truly be unique is to write about the collection of images that plays in my head from day to day, because no one else has exactly the same collection.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, it's not a matter of a 'method' or any 'formula' one can follow... being 'unique' and/or 'original' results from the writer's level of talent and skill, not on any method...
     
  9. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    It's true. I always put a lot of myself into the story. Not as in I make the characters like me but you can definitely tell I wrote it and not someone else if you know me.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think the main thing is to show what my characters are about, what made them that way, and how they affect those around them. And if I ever manage to get published, I'm convinced that it will be because I succeeded in doing that.
     
  11. CaKsTeR
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    CaKsTeR Member

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    If you think about it, anything you write (with the exception of fanfiction) is unique to a point. Your characters and setting are what make the story unique, not the themes or the plot. Sure, every idea has been done to a certain point, but can you honestly say anyone has written your exact characters?

    I think a good (if a bit controversial) example is the film Avatar (NOT the last airbender). People have stated that it is quite similar to the plot of Pocahontas. While this may be true, the world James Cameron has sculpted is completely unique, and is the main reason I love the movie so much.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Or Dances with Wolves.

    For any storyline, you can find other congruent stories. Yet each story is unique. Each writer (or director) treats the same theme somewhat differently. Even if you take exactly the same characters and events, such as different interpretations of popular legends, you'll see different emphasis, different interpretations of motives, different moods or depths of description, etc.
     

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