1. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    Repeating the success, why?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by khawlaazwar, Sep 19, 2014.

    Writing, I somehow relate to psychological process.

    Normally, when we get succeeded we try to get success in the same manner as what we have done last time.
    If we used some formula for writing, we again go for that.

    Usually, we human try to keep distance from the risk so we try to follow the same rules what we have done and how we have done in the past. Doing things differently requires too much courage, artistic view and passion for writing.

    I confess that YES, as a writer I also have done that.

    But, I do not want to follow this. Today on twitter I read one tweet, " I would love to be failure in what I love rather succeed in what I hate".

    What you friends think?
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Interesting. I love to take risks in my writing. I don't always show them to people, though. But the idea of risk means different things to different people. It's sometimes hard to say whose taking a risk.

    Plus, formulas are hard to avoid. No matter who the writer is their volume of work will show either a pattern or formula. The pattern gets more respect becomes the authors style his trademark.

    This makes me think of those authors that are only known for one novel, and no matter what they produce afterwards every interviewer is constantly referring back to that prior work. That would drive me nuts. Worse than publishing a book I didn't like. Because if others loved it and I didn't like it, it would still feel like a happy fluke that if successful would pay to produce future fiction. Things I liked. But to be driven mad by something at one point in time you did love... that would be worse.
     
  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you ever attempt something, or see someone else attempt something, you see the attempt achieves a small success but comes nowhere near its full potential, then you give it an additional, improved attempt in order to reach the full potential? (Simple example: you cook a meal; it turns out alright; you learn from your mistakes; you cook the same meal again in order to make it delicious.)

    The psychology of forming a habit to pursue the same reward over and over again is just one of many reasons why one might recycle material. The reason why I am recycling material right now is to pursue perfection. I am not merely interested in a reward (e.g. fame and fortune). In fact, I know I will receive neither for my WIP, since it will be anonymous and in the public domain. I am interested in executing this specific concept as beautifully as possible. Someone else has already executed it to some success. I am trying to take it to the next level because the concept itself deserves to be taken to the next level.

    Interestingly, though, this is doing things differently. How many novels (other than fanfiction*) can you name that were based on previous works and were published anonymously to the public domain? How do you think people will react? I have no idea how people will react, since I have just enough knowledge to know that people often judge a book (often viciously) for reasons other than quality but not enough knowledge to know exactly what this book will be judged on. So not only am I doing things differently, but I am taking a risk that I would not have to take if I took the conventional path of writing a novel from scratch and publishing it traditionally.

    * Speaking of fanfiction, that is another example of recycled material that is not necessarily motivated by laziness or a reward-seeking habit. I have read amazing fanfics that only work in the context of the TV show they are based on. They are important contributions to the world that could not have been contributed in any other way. Imagine if the author of any one of these fanfics thought, "I am tired of sticking to what is familiar. I am tired of not taking risks. I have too much courage, artistic view, and passion for writing to keep recycling someone else's setting and characters. Therefore, I am going to stop writing fanfiction." And as a result, I as a reader would have missed out on an amazing and irreplaceable experience.

    Just because something has already been done, it is not necessarily a bad idea to do it again if it can be done better.
     
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  4. khawlaazwar
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    khawlaazwar Member

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    You are right, formulas are hard to avoid. People (readers) start to fit our writing style in one frame. Sometime, they can not accept us other than what they like about our writing.

    Will you please explain me " But to driven ......worse".

    Thanks
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It can be a tempting thing to do, especially if the success appealed to the author (money, attention, fame etc). I'm also tempted to say that once you tell a story, that's it, there's nothing further to gain from re-telling it, but it's not as simple as that. Sure, some writers literally write according to a formula, but many others are so enthralled by some theme(s) or formats, they use it as framework to tell different stories. Themes can occupy a writer's mind unconsciously, and if coupled with a strong and recognisable voice, that may make it superficially seem they are working to a formula. But even if the same reader can't stand the two similar stories, there'll be readers who'll prefer one over the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    JK Rowling seems like a shining example of someone willing to take a chance. Now, she's certainly not writing for financial needs any more, but I imagine it still took some guts to push herself into a new genre as she did.

    I'm just starting Cuckoo's Calling now, and enjoying it so far. But knowing who wrote it makes it hard to ignore the little details that seem to connect to her life. A comment about being famous enough that any mistakes are noted and celebrated, a bit about schadenfreude - it definitely gives the impression that she was braced for push back for daring to write something outside her original genre. I originally admired her decision to write with a pseudonym as a move of artistic integrity, trying to ensure the new work is judged on its own merits and not buoyed along on the Harry Potter tide. But as I read/think more about it, I think it may also have been a defensive move, trying to avoid the criticism from people who who want her to write child wizards forever and who would view any deviation from that path as an immediate failure.

    Strange world, but interesting!
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait until you read 'The Silkworm'. How she assassinated 'indie authors'... :D

    I never read HP, but Rowling's mysteries are readable, characters are interesting and her prose is quite good. But I think she's still very much finding her way around that genre.
     
  8. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    If you believe the main literary theories, all stories follow a formula. Some of them are hard and fast rules (Snyder's "Save the Cat" which I do not recommend) or more fluid (Dramatica or Truby's "Anatomy of Story").

    I think much of the trick to it is subtlety. Don't make the formula apparent and avoid the ones that have little to no margin for artistic expression.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    L Frank Baum is a good example for a writer. He loved the theater. And he wrote some children's books. But when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became a bestseller it was sort of like Harry Potter - everything turned into Oz. He adapted the story into a play and wrote other stories just so he could make more plays ( that was more his passion the plays. ) It's not that he hated Oz but every time he tried to do something else it failed. So money would get tight and he'd have to write another oz story. I don't think he ever hated Oz per se because he loved so many different things. But imagine a writer who is locked into being known for one specific work. One that they possibly loved at one point it would be hard not to imagine wishing you'd never wrote it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  10. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Magnum Opus Dissonance
     

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