1. Ged
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    Ged Senior Member

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    Using versus saving for later

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ged, Nov 28, 2009.

    Let's say you're a beginner writer. You get a lot of ideas, some perhaps really good and original [to an extent]. What do you do?

    Do you save those ideas so as to use them later, because you're afraid that if you try to tackle them at this stage in your writing "career", you'll tarnish them and make a fool of yourself? Or do you try to incorporate them into your writing regardless of your writing experience?

    To me, the first is a bit... I don't know, limiting. If I get an idea and place a sign around it that says "Cannot use until you have unlocked the "3 years of writing" achievement (or something as random as that)," I will lose interest in that idea and end up frustrated.
     
  2. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    Oh, I use them anyway. If the idea is that good, and the writing that bad and inexperienced, you can always rework it later.
     
  3. WanderingStar
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    WanderingStar Member

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    I think when your creative process is flowing and you develop an idea you're excited about that it would be silly to wait. Why wait? Even if you write and you don't achieve perfection at least you gained practice- its a learning experience. Why learn on an idea you're not passionate about?

    No matter what level of experience you have I don't think you would bust out a best seller the first go round- so beginner or expert you're going to have to do edits and make-overs.

    At least by trying you give yourself insight, experience, and you can always go back over it with a red marker later and trim off the fat.

    Go for it!!
     
  4. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    Frankly, your writing will (and should) always be improving. Therefore, if you wait until you're "good enough", you'll probably never get anything written. XD Like someone already said, just dive in and take comfort in your ability to rewrite all you want later. Writing about a story you care about is the only real way you'll improve anyway.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If you only ever write ideas you don't think are fantastic, wouldn't you lose interest?

    I'd say, if you have a good idea, give it a go. You'll gain experience from writing it, and you can always rewrite it later, if you want to.
     
  6. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write them anyway, you don't need to create a perfect piece and you shouldn't expect to on any first time out. As a novice, write what you love, but hold on to everything. I have a story circulating currently which is from five years ago. I just looked at the draft from then and wrote my current version using it as a model if you will. Placing ideas on some sort of waiting list is, as Banzai said, going to cause a loss of interest.
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I agree with the grand emperor of earth.

    If anything it is good practice. One of the novels I wrote had a good premise, but the end result was blah. I will not rewrite it, as in extensive editing. But in the future, I will start from scratch and write it again.
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    No point in saving the idea for later. Hopefully, later, when you've learned more about writing, you've also learned more about developing ideas and you'll come up with some even better ones.
     
  9. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Ok, this looks like the thread I was looking for, hopefully not too stale... (But to avoid the clutter of a new one...)

    My concern in saving a particular idea for later is a little more thematic than technical. I know I am not only an inexperienced writer, but a young one. For certain topics, do you think waiting and maturing might be a good idea? I don't happen to suffer from any lack of other ideas, which I feel comfortable enough writing argle-bargle for, but this idea feels... more sensitive(?) (As if it needs a more mature handling). I'm not sure if it makes too much of a difference that nearly the whole story occurs when the protagonist is my current age (though who knows, maybe I'd eventually decide to change this? Not very likely, but also not impossible).

    Have you ever saved an idea for later like this, and felt that you were able to approach it better because you didn't have to work so hard to remove all the mental erasure marks? Or was rewriting it later no problem, just working on a clean slate?

    Appreciate your thoughts!
     
  10. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    What is the subject that you're so hesitant to approach?That might help us help you. I've always felt this way when it comes to writing sex scenes, or intimate scenes, since I have 0 experience in that area. I've never been kissed, so how dare I try to write a scene where characters have kissed?

    Recently I've come to the decision that I've read a plethora of books where kissing/intimacy is a theme, and I've seen people kiss on TV and in every day life. I feel like at this point I know enough about this to pull off a semi-convincing scene.

    If I were you, I would just do extensive research on the subject just to make sure you're not making a fool of yourself. :) Google it, and talk to people that have experienced it.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I say write it. Write it now. And write it again in the future. Too many fledgling writers define themselves in numbers of pages and projects as though they were inalterable paradigms once made, solid and impervious. As though these written items are familiars in an occult sense, that without them they will be bereft of their writing powers.

    Even in works accepted for publication, there is a chance to do it over with a more mature mind and deft hand. Arthur C. Clarke wrote one of my most beloved of novels called The City and the Stars (1956), but this novel has a previous life as a published novella titled Against the Fall of Night (1948). He completely rewrote the original novella and published it again as a more well rounded novel. E.M. Forster originally wrote the book Maurice in the years of 1913 and 1914. He put it aside and rewrote it in the mid 1930's. That's a long time to let an idea sit, but it was a profoundly provocative idea for its day, so I can see why. The book didn't see publication until 1970 because it dealt with two fellahs in love with each other.

    The fact that you write a story once, now, doesn't in any way preclude that you can write it again in some future time with more life experience and more craft in your work. Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. I cannot emphasize it enough.
     
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  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I write what I want, when I want. And if it turns out to be doodoo--I rewrite it and rewrite it until it's less smelly.
     
  13. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Has anybody noticed this thread is from 2009? IT LIVES...:eek:
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :-D [​IMG] It's ok. It's a good question. ;)
     
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  15. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Yes, we did, seeing as the OP mentions this fact right at the onset of their post. :crazy:
     
  16. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Thanks!

    Ah, well, the story, for better or for worse, is bound up with the theme of suffering. And... part of the point of the story is that it's all kinds of suffering. Yes, I feel very juvenile about it... And I'm thinking the time I'd be "waiting" would be active waiting, of course, perhaps rather like a very long research period?

    But perhaps the idea isn't really original, so maybe I should just chuck it now...

    Essentially:
    The protagonist lives in a world where everyone's bad memories are removed on a regular basis. She slips through the system once, (the monthly check-ups only comb through the past month), so she has one, which she realizes was erased from her mom's memory. She realizes the full implications of this later, when she's rather older. Being disturbed by the idea that such significant portions of peoples experiencess/memories/identities are being erased, she seeks to do something about it. She finds help from some underground people, who've been existing with difficulty outside of the system. But ultimately, she has to come to a deeper realization of the value of suffering. (I'm actually still rather unresolved as to how exactly that will end, unfortunately, which also has me concerned about just starting in on writing). If it sounds way too boring/similar to something(s), tell me.

    Thanks again for your input!
     
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  17. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The idea of an entire population's bad memories being erased sounds like an interesting idea to me.

    If you're worried about your age being a hindrance, it can be diminished by research. The more you learn about suffering in various forms, the more you'll have a well-rounded "adult" idea of it. It's up to you whether you want to sit on your idea for a while so you can do research. Some have found it detrimental to their ability to write. Personally, I've found it very helpful. My research has widened my knowledge of the areas I will be creating stories around, allowing me to find new ideas and add depth to my original ideas. By the time that I start writing, I don't have to worry about where my story is going and can focus on how effective my writing is. If you followed this path, maybe your "active waiting" could include research and brainstorming without actually starting your story.
     
  18. Ms. DiAnonyma
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    Ms. DiAnonyma Active Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate that!
     
  19. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'll write the idea first - if I find it's not coming out the way I intended I try again. If I fail again I try one last time - then I set it aside for a future date.
     

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