1. Miswrite
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    Miswrite Member

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    "Secret idea" writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Miswrite, Jun 27, 2009.

    Does anyone else have this problem:

    You get inspired and come up with a story idea, but as soon as you tell someone about it you lose interest?

    It's beginning to frustrate me and hinder my writing. I can't be the only one, can I? :)
     
  2. Maroon
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    Maroon Active Member

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    Well, I don't do that exactly, no.

    But I do think that when we try to explain concepts to friends, we rarely set aside an hour to go over the plot build and various subtleties of a piece. We generally try to sum it up in a few sentences - which can often end up sounding trite or confused. Particularly if it's a new idea with many bugs that are yet to be ironed out.

    So are you really losing interest, or are you actually second guessing your plot once you've said it out loud?

    If it really is a case of you losing interest in what is otherwise a great idea, then dare I suggest you just keep it to yourself until you've explored it more fully? It seems the obvious choice!

    M.
     
  3. Iulia
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    Iulia New Member

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    Yes, I've done this before.
    It's, as Maroon said, because you try to sum it up in a few sentances and then you begin to doubt how good your story really is. It's best to keep it to yourself until it's quite developed and then tell the right person about it - one who you know will be interested, and tell them in an exciting way. (It doesn't have to be huge, just make it out to be exciting, like telling it by candlelight or around a fire or something. Or just tell it in a storyteller-like way, and avoid telling about it in public, because you might be interrupted or your listener might get distracted, and nothing squashes a story like an interruption.) When you tell someone about a story idea, you expect to have their attention and you hope they'll be (excuse my over-use of the word) excited. The more excited they get about it, the more into your idea you'll be. Try to dust off your idea and expand it anyway, or just save the next one untill it's better developed.
     
  4. Maroon
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    Maroon Active Member

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    You know, I'd go as far as saying - why bother telling someone an idea at all? Especially if you think it will hinder your writing.

    All they can say is "yeah, sounds good" or "nah, sounds rubbish", and where will that get you?

    My advice is to write it, then let them read it. Much better.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Solution: Stop telling people about your stories.
     
  6. Atarxia
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    Atarxia Member

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    I think it's actually a normal reaction, but there are many ways to stay inspired. I don't try to build a story chronologically from the beginning, for example. You can try to start somewhere new in terms of the plot progression and try to generate new ideas from there.
     
  7. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whats worse is starting a piece of writing, sharing the first few pages or whatever you have, and then losing all interest in it. Which reminds me I have a few stories I need to finish... :(
     
  8. Blaidd Drwg
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    Blaidd Drwg Member

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    It's not that I lose interest, really, it's that the story usually starts to sound absurd or cliche when summed up in a few sentences. Also, I kind of feel silly telling people about "my book" when I haven't published anything. So now when people hear that I want to be a writer and they ask what the book is about, I'll usually just give them the genre.
     
  9. Neets
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    Neets New Member

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    Miswrite,
    Do you lose interest because of the reaction of the person you told your idea to?

    I have had it happen to me, but I can't seem to pinpoint if it is the reaction to my idea or if I would have lost interest left in the idea with or without input.

    I tend to finish a story before I talk about it anymore, except for one that I am currently working on, I said it was "a writing exercise" (which is true), so maybe that will jinx the jinx. One can only hope.
     
  10. Akraa
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    Akraa Member

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    Is it that you simply feel a bit bored afterward, like when you go to read a book again immediately after finishing it? I can understand that feeling. It's natural to be excited about your art and have to tell your friends, and then you wind up fleshing it out too much to maintain interest because now you know how it all works out. It's why I keep a big 'box' of storylines around. I go back to them and refine them later. I can't focus on writing when I know exactly what's going to happen.

    Once I've put it aside and come back with fresh eyes, I don't remember the entire grand storyline in excruciating detail; instead I have a solid outline, notes, and conflict diagrams to build the story around afresh. Of course I write as though I were reading the story into being. I think it has to do with being too thorough in early planning. Of late I've avoided fleshing out a story to such extents early on and just establishing the framework, so I can avoid this problem.

    It may just be a personal writing quirk. Try writing down the key information and setting it aside in a place specifically for inactive story ideas that you'll leaf through often. Eventually you'll go through your box and look at it funny for a moment in confusion before your face lights up and your brain begs to write it out.
     
  11. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    That happens to me quite often. I figure it's because at that point the story has been told, so it's no longer trying to claw it's way out of your head.
     
  12. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    It has happened to me quite a few times. I finally stopped telling people what I am writing. Every now and then, if someone asks, I will give them a few little tid bits, like: It's a story about a 50 year old women, and I'd have her played by Michelle Pfeifer. And that is all I would say. If they ask for more, I tell them they'll just have to wait till it comes out in book form and read it.

    It also depends on who I am talking to too. My mom gets that kind of description, a friend I haven't seen in months, gets a : Working on a little of this a little of that...nothing I can really share right now.

    I have found if I give too much away then I get annoying question by people I don't want. Also I tend to lose steam if I tell someone too much about my plot. It's some internal psychological thing I think. Like we've told the story now it's time to work on something else.

    The solution is to just not tell anyone anything and keep working.
     
  13. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    I kind of know how that is. I think it's just you though, and nobody would judge you or think you were silly for telling them about it. Now, if you just aren't good at making summaries, yeah, you'll probably have a problem, but it's a chance you have to take. I for one do not like just shying away and giving some sort of self depreciating comment, or a scanty one that doesn't describe much - I'd like to try and give them a reasonable summary.
     
  14. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only time that happens to me is when I start trying to explain an idea I've had to Joel or my sister and they say "oh, so it's like 'x' book/movie!"
     

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