1. Eternity
    Offline

    Eternity Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia

    Original Story Ideas

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eternity, May 13, 2010.

    I read a post about someone struggling with writer's block, and through that I can see that a lot of you don't believe it exists.

    ... Okay, so I don't have writer's block. I'm in the mood to write.

    I just can't think of any ideas!! I have raided the internet for ideas but produced nothing inspiring.

    Can you give me some original story ideas, plleeeeasse?

    Genres romance/historical fiction/fantasy/war/adventure
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Carthonn
    Offline

    Carthonn Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    32
    For me getting started is the hardest part. Maybe start simple. Make an outline, list of characters, goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

    I'm kind of in the same boat.
     
  3. Afterburner
    Offline

    Afterburner Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Just take a location; the woods, the desert, a jungle. Then, just create a character and have them adventuring through the area. I'm sure you can think of something to happen to them :)
     
  4. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    If you're super stuck, rip something off. I don't mean that in the evil plagiarising way, but just take a familiar idea/plot/character/scene, and rewrite it. In the process you'll inevitably come up with new situations, new characters, new plots, and once you're on a roll you can drop the copied bit if need be. And even if nothing great comes of it, at least you're practicing, right?
     
  5. Liquid Nature
    Offline

    Liquid Nature Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Over there
    Something you will soon learn, if you haven't already, is that the will to write is often a irregular one. Only by writing about something which you are truly passionate about, or believe in with confidence, can you keep the vigor which most seek so dearly.

    Contrary to the previous poster, I recommend that you do not make even a mild attempt at copying another's work. This eradicates the very motive by which we write; the originality and expression of one's idiosyncratic ideas. Write only because there is purpose and a central theme which you hold tightly, and the stories with inevitably find their way onto the page.

    Just my opinion. :)
     
  6. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    The problem of the original poster is that she was having trouble finding and expressing her own original and ideosyncratic ideas. Obviously, writing purely original material is preferable, but saying "just come up with something" is not a helpful piece of advice.
     
  7. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Pick a person in real life who you think is interesting and base a character off him/her. Characters are usually what I start with. The setting, plot, etc. come after. Also, read books, watch TV, listen to music. These are all great sources of inspiration.
     
  8. Eternity
    Offline

    Eternity Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks everyone! All great advice! I am actually beginnnig to feel inspired again. :p
     
  9. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    I recommend writing a story for the short story contest here: http://www.writingforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=75

    They'll give you inspiring topics from time to time
     
  10. izanobu
    Offline

    izanobu Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can also just google "writing prompts" if you need something to help get you started. There's lots of resources out there. Good luck! :)

    (another thing I do is brainstorm titles and make a list of them... this can help kick off a story idea sometimes too)
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You can also look through the Theme Ideas thread for the Weekly Short Story Contest. Even the ones that were never chosen for the story challenge can inspire you.
     
  12. Peerie Pict
    Offline

    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Scotland
    I think Aaron's suggestion is helpful.

    It's important that you write, within reason, no matter what it is. The act of writing and making it habitual/regular is really important. 'Ripping off' someone's theme/idea for the sake of ensuring writing practice is fine. If it gets the pen moving/keyboard tapping it's preferable to nothing.

    Inevitably, the original 'plagiarised' work will become tiresome and you will no doubt be inspired to do something else with it.
     
  13. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    Not really. Two of my novels were essentially taking my favourite movie and retelling it in my own way. One author I know admits that his first published novel came about in a similar fashion. Some authors have made a career of taking fairy tales or mythologies and making them their own. Those things you are talking about will happen no matter what. You can't help it. And we can't treat the motive to write like an irregular one if we hope to make a career out of it.
     
  14. s.knight
    Offline

    s.knight Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forget the internet.
    Get out there in the real world for inspiration.
    Things that create impressions, rather than sitting in front of a screen poring over symbolized concepts.
     
  15. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,913
    Likes Received:
    10,106
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Oh, it exists. It most definitely exists.

    The advice aaron89 gave is good advice. Don't be so concerned with something utterly and truly original. Depending on which school of literary thought you ascribe to, there are only X number of stories. X being a variable determined by the school of thought.

    Just decide what kind of message you want to tell with your story. Then, with that in hand, choose the players to tell it. Decide what their rolls are in the telling. This will give you your motivation for your players.
     
  16. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Just a random suggestion...

    Watch a really crappy movie, take notes about everything you disliked about it and why, and then fix the story into something great. It might even give a shallow boost of confidence as your own version turns out to be much better written than the source.
     
  17. Liquid Nature
    Offline

    Liquid Nature Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Over there
    I guess the disparity lies in the motive itself; each of us have our very own. There is a substantial difference between reshaping another's idea, and taking up the chisel and carving the statue for yourself. While there is nothing wrong with re-writing your favorite stories for the sake of practice, the movite will be an irregular one if an invidual is incapable of concieving a thought for themselves.

    @OP: Again, this is simply my opinion. Write only how you want to, and if that means acting with the subtlest form of plagiarism, then so be it.
     
  18. Mantha Hendrix
    Offline

    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northern Ireland... the place I've taken for grant
    I know it sounds simple... but go for a walk. Gives you so much time to think, without distractions, you don't even need to go out and think about writing think about anything, more often that not it will come back to writing, and you'll be hit by a myriad of ideas...
     
  19. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    It`s not just for practice. Like I said, some people have fueled their careers by retelling myths, legends, and fairy tales. I could probably name ten off the top of my head. And remember, the actual fairy tale or myth is usually only a few pages long. That doesn`t get you a novel. It just gives you a starting point. If you read my novel that was taken from a movie, you may see some similarities between my novel and the movie, but not enough to say that I intentionally used it as a starting point.
     
  20. Liquid Nature
    Offline

    Liquid Nature Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Over there
    Getting published does not constitute good writing.

    But this again is a matter of motives. Your motive is a career. Mine isn't.

    I can't speak for the OP though.
     
  21. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    You're making a lot of assumptions here that are not fair, especially without knowing the authors and books I am refering to, and I will not allow this to turn into an argument.
     
  22. izanobu
    Offline

    izanobu Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Getting published by big NY publishers generally means that a book is good in at least that it can tell a story and hold readers' attention.

    And I know that many writers write because they love it. So why not get paid for what you love to do and would do anyway? I really don't get the seeming hostility toward being a selling author and definitely don't get the animosity toward bestsellers...

    For the professional writer, writing is a business. Stories are the product. The better story you tell, the more you sell. It all ties in together.
     
  23. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,913
    Likes Received:
    10,106
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I'm not happy with were this thread is going.

    @ Liquid Nature: Rei made a perfectly valid, practical and very real world observation and suggestion. There is no reason to throw digs at her about plagiarism or bad writing. And don't pretend they weren't digs.
     
  24. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    And the people that make it do have a tendency to enjoy it and be motivated by a lot more than money. If a writer didn`t love it, they wouldn`t put the time and effort into it, when they could easily be a teacher or any number of other jobs that pay consistently. Originality does not come from plot elements or stories. It comes from your own personality, experiences, and values. I have read dosens of retellings, and none of them are the same. In fact, before novels were commonplace, it was actually normal for people to retell familiar stories with their own personal spin on it. It`s like good jazz music, or going to a revival of a play. The basics of a song you know are their, but the musicians improvise along the way, and a director always puts their own interpretation into the words.
     
  25. Eternity
    Offline

    Eternity Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Aaah, I like you, Wreybies! I agree with you, writer's block definitely exists. Thank you! :p

    Also thanks for your advice, too, I appreciate it.
     

Share This Page