1. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Which do you like best???

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by picklzzz, Jan 23, 2012.

    Hi All,

    I get frustrated easily with ideas and abandon them. I have about 60 pages of two novels written and a third idea brewing. It's hard to come up with something original, but I think all three have potential. Which do you like best and why? If none, I can think up another. I'm just not sure which to invest my time in right now.

    1) Two people get into a car accident, and their souls intertwine. The woman wakes up completely paralyzed, but somehow as she's in and out of consiousness from all the drugs they keep giving her, she's in the man's mind as he plots to kills his wife.

    2) A group of people are kidnapped and they have no idea why. They are forced to participate in a new type of reality show where the country votes each week on who will die and how they will die. The others must carry out the killing or suffer the consequences.

    3) A graduate student inherits a strange book from a suicidal man. Odd things start happening to her until she can solve each riddle. In the end, if she doesn't solve the last riddle, she or someone she loves will die.

    I like the third one, and I have a lot of research behind it, but I can think of several similar stories of solving riddles to prevent dire consequences. However, I like a good puzzle.

    I'm not sure which to go with. What do you all think?

    Thanks!
     
  2. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    Number 2 sounds really cool so personally that one for me

    number 3 sounds a bit cliched for some reason and number 1 just sounds weird lol (unless you have a decent explanation on why/how their souls entertwined and why that means she can mindread)
     
  3. Anniexo
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    Anniexo Member

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    Number one: Now this sounds like a really good idea, but like hoggyboy said, it can only work well if you have a decent explantion to why this happens (Maybe the two were secret lovers or twins?)

    Number two: This sounds like a really creepy story (in a good way) and sound 'Saw' like in a way, maybe deeper in to the story it's explains to why they are kidnap (Maybe the kidnapper gets a kick out of it? Or they've done something wrong and they're being made to pay for it?)

    Number three: Again I agree with what hoggboy said, it sounds cliched, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing if done well.

    For myself I'm more interested in the first one more.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    2 reminds me of an 80's movie that explored something very similar, I forget what the title was, but I think it had Arnold Scwarzenegger in it (and he was wearing a jump suit, yikes!)
    3 has potential but also, lots of fairly recent literature explored more or less vaguely similar situation, so there is a risk of being cliche, but then again, if you feel you have an original twist on it, and you like this idea the most, themn you should stay with it.
    Personally, I think 1 has really interesting possibilities, as a sort of a horror or paranormal thriller.
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the first one best. Lots of interesting possibilities for twists & turns.

    Is there not one which speaks to you the most, or a little bit more?
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the first one best too.
    The second one has been done to death in quite a number of films - straight to dvd trash and not straight to dvd trash...the Arnie film was The Running Man, jb....yellow pyjamas, pretty much, if I recall correctly.
    The third one: meh.
     
  7. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    The first one I based on a legend that I came up with also as to how this was possible. The second one involves revenge of the kidnappers (who are the surviving two of three triplets). The third one I was planning on revolving around Norse mythology and involving a familial line in the transfer of this book.

    I like all three, but I feel the third is a bit cliche. The second one has also been done to death. The first one I like, but I don't like what I've done with it. How do you all come up with story ideas? Do they just come to you in a flash, or is there a process by which you "discover" your ideas?

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, The Running Man, that's it! It was so lame... :D
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    So far all my ideas came in a flash. Obviously, the initial idea goes through a lot of changes, but essence remains the same. One writing exercise I like to use is to take some time, whenever I need it, and to jot down every single idea I have. Because at any given time, there are at least 10 vague ideas that loom in the background and if left unexplored, I find that they easily distract me. And then, when I need it, I look all those ideas over and see if there's anything there I'd like to immerse myself in for a couple of years. Because not all ideas are actually something that would hold my attention for so long. Some of the ideas also come very handy as subplots.

    Another exercise I do is to write a list of everything that appeals to me, that interests me, that turns me on as a writer. It can be anything, and the list can be as long as you want it to be. For example, I am fascinated by chandeliers, serial killers, haute couture, psychology, water, frankincense, vampires, shapeshifters, detectives, snow etc. And then the third exercise, write down everything you have experience in - job wise, life experiences wise etc. And those master lists are useful when you want to assign a particular characteristic to your characters or the setting or whatever.

    But in the middle of it is the idea that just occurs to me at some point, for sure.
     
  10. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Thanks jazzabel. That is so very helpful!
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's great, I am really glad :)
     
  12. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    thanks for that, downloading it now
     
  13. xisnotx
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    xisnotx New Member

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    I guess I'm a bit of a stickler for having a point.

    To that end, the first one seems to have the most potential.
     
  14. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I like idea number two.

    That plot line (like everything you can possible think of) has been done before. Namely Stephen King's 'Running Man' comes to mind. If you can put a fresh twist on the idea and if you have good writing skills I think you could make something interesting.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Choose whichever one inspires you the most. Don't expect others to choose for you.

    If you are going to be a writer, you have to make decisions for yourself, and you have to develop the discipline to follow the story through to completion.
     
  16. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    I'm not going to argue that discipline and decisiveness aren't vital to a career in writing, but I don't think there's anything wrong with asking for feedback about which ideas to develop, if it raises points you hadn't thought of or builds your confidence.

    'The one that inspires you the most' is a good answer to the question, but if you're anything like me, that idea is ALWAYS the one you just thought of, and not any of the ones you've already poured a lot of energy into and become frustrated with. So if your goal is actually finishing a story it can be better to just slog through something you're bored with and try and find some way to inject your new ideas into the old story instead of starting afresh.

    Personally, I find 1) the most interesting because it sounds novel and psychological, and 2) the least because it sounds cheesy. But that's just going from the premise, it all depends on the execution.
     
  17. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the writer must listen to his own gut feeling about these things, because it's him who has to stick with the story for x months/years it will take to finish it, and if he doesn't have sufficient enthusiasm for it he won't be able to, no matter how people "voted". Of course letting people say which one they sound most intriguing is interesting, but it isn't much to judge from because people have different taste and I think in the end the writer has to choose on his own. plus there is no point asking for validation of story ideas in general because it depends more on HOW he writes it and less on the idea itself.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree. I find all these pontifications about "you have to choose yourself, blah blah" really condescending and unhelpful. Even sometimes, people feel embarrassed that they asked something in the first place, and nobody should be embarrassed about that. If someone doesn't want to give the answer to the question - don't give the answer to the question. There are plenty of people who want to toy with the answer and discuss it.
    Of course the writer in the end chooses for themselves, but a lot of people like to talk about what they are doing and sometimes even discuss how others see their ideas. Sometimes we are so excited with our idea, we want to share it. Or ask to see if it's been done before, but we are not aware of it. There are all sorts of perfectly legitimate reasons to ask questions like these. Like you said, more like a confidence boost, not because they want anyone to write the story for them, or guarantee their success etc.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Really? Are you here to improve your writing?

    Learning to trust your own instincts is important. Learning to exercise your own imagination and make decisions is important.

    It's like the old proverb:
    Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
    Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life,

    Is it really better to dispense sugar-coated answers? Or is it better to nudge people to find the writer within?
     
  20. Doug Moore
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    Doug Moore New Member

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    I do believe Cogito is right. You do have to make the decision yourself but I see nothing wrong with making use of resources such as this forum to guide you.
    Sometimes if I don't feel like working on my novel or I'm stuck,I might jump between it and a short story or some poetry but I would find working on three novels? at once taxing. I'd be in the fetal,keeping characters straight, story lines, time lines and settings etc.That being said;number 1 makes me go hmm! And like any good blurb, it set the hook and I want to see where it goes. Good luck.
     
  21. Steve89
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    Steve89 Member

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    I agree with Cogito, you do have to make decisions yourself and stick with an idea through to the end, otherwise you get answers like the ones you've been recieving, based on other peoples likes and dislikes, and not what you want to write about.
    I've just read a list of people tell you not to do the one stroy you showed the most interest in because they think it's cliche. Who cares if something similar has been done a lot recently, if you want to write it then go ahead, that's the only way you will stick at it and finish the story.

    Good luck in whichever option you choose.
     
  22. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    Now that the vote seems to be leaning toward #1 ... I think I'll wait on that one for awhile because I'm so stuck in what I've done (which I don't really love), I'm having trouble trying to come up with a different idea about it.

    I'm leaning toward #3, actually. I have been researching all sorts of things about ancient mysticism and have three very strong characters and three separate but related story arcs. I think it's really what someone said - it's about the execution. I personally love puzzles and learning in books, and I love stuff about curses and science and math, and these are all areas I know about or could make sense of. As someone here said (I think jazzy), I should focus on my areas of expertise as well. Whatever the case, this whole idea is spinning in my head like crazy, much more than the other two have, and I think I should try with this one.

    Hey, recently I found this thing online about the Snowflake method for organizing a novel. I'm sure there are other ways, but this has been really helpful for me to develop my ideas in some fashion. Does anyone use this or another method?

    Thanks everyone for all your insight and voting! I'm excited that although my idea isn't really original (what idea has never been done???), what I plan on doing with it is. I loved books like The DaVinci Code - although I definitely have criticisms of that book - but I think I'd like to write about topics I like to read about. Maybe that's wrong, but it feels right to me!
     
  23. Miss Jo
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    Miss Jo Member

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    I hate to share my story ideas with people. Before it's complete I find I can never really explain what i want to do with it in the right way. I think you're bold to put your ideas out there and I think you're smart to use whatever resources are at your disposal to see you through a creative wall.

    If something someone says here rekindles your interest more in one idea you will go and write it out for a bit. In the end if it wasn't the story that was really building inside you, you will bore of it quickly and move on to the one that matters most to you. All you will have done is spent a little time figuring out what you don't want to write and I think that could make you a more focused writer.
     
  24. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think you understood what I was trying to say. However, I think I explained my point very clearly, so trying to explain again would be rather pointless :)
     
  25. Daryl
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    Daryl Member

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    as interesting as number two seems it is not too original..i've seen a few movies or shows with similar plots..one is my fave..you can do so much with that storyline if you can pull it off..jjust give alot of insight as to how they came to be in the car together, their relationship and stuff like that..
     

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