1. David Kalver

    David Kalver New Member

    May 4, 2015
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    Developing Confidence In your none-trope Ideas.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by David Kalver, Aug 16, 2016.

    So, I have a question that's been rolling around in the back of my mind I'd like to see some opinions on.

    So although this thread mentions confidence, let's just assume for sake of argument that my character development, subtext and b-plots are all developed with confidence..

    What I'm wondering here is how to you obtain confidence in your ideas and scene projects. I've noticed from my own habits, that if I decide on a scene and it feels a bit 'flimsy' I'll subconciously reach out for the genre tropes/scenes established in my genre in order to provide myself with security.

    An example of this is when writing a two detective characters, I decided I wanted an excuse for them to intrude in each other's personal lives. The 'original' idea I had was that they were dating the same women, but this would lead to too much weight in the b-story for what I was after, eventually I settled on one inviting the other to a family meal. It felt perfect, then I remembered I'd seen this in both SE7EN and True Detective, this is just one example but it's a bit of a humorous battle I have with myself.

    I always wonder how to obtain confience in ideas that may seem daft at first glance, like when writing INCEPTION, how did Christopher Nolan push past where I would have been saying 'this is stupid, this bit with the chair...weird, stupid...the train comes out in the middle of the road, stupid'
  2. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    Short answer: Practice.

    Long answer: Work with enough ideas over a long enough time and you'll recognize the daft-but-workable ones more readily.

    Although there are other factors...

    One that comes to mind: adhere to a specific genre that is totally you.

    For instance, I've always known I wanted to write science fiction. But I kept writing stuff that no one wanted to read. I also had a hard time coming up with ideas that were different enough from last fall's New York Times list. And I struggled with that whole daft-but-workable thing, too, because I thought, "This has got to be serious science-frigging-fiction."

    But then I realized, I'd rather write comedy. So I mixed that into the science fiction and that's my specific genre.

    Bottom line: know exactly which genre you wanna write in and play with lots of ideas. It'll come together eventually.

    Oh, yeah, and be patient. It took me over 30 years to figure all this sh--stuff out.
  3. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    I'm having difficulty how this...

    ...can coexist with this...

    ...and how the synthesis is this...

    So, I'm just going to address the last bit.

    My guess is that the point at which you would have dropped the idea as stupid, et al, was likely not the point at which Nolan would have done so. Not being snarky, here, just an observation, the point of which is that your sense of what works and what doesn't is the only one that matters. If a scene I'm writing strikes me as silly, I drop it. If it doesn't work for another reason, I keep at it. The important thing is to understand why it isn't working. And that can sometimes be a hard question to answer.
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Aug 1, 2016
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    East devon/somerset border
    I think partly if we worry about ideas sounding stupid we'd never write anything - if its a real problem for you one possible solution is to take the most outlandish ridiculous scenario you can think of and write it anyway. Once you've completed the short story wherein Ms Marple is kidnappd by a gang of psychotic baboons who need her to investigate the death of their leader nothing else will seem silly ever again

    on your OP point about one partner invites the other to a family dinner, and the fact that that's been done in popular fiction - the reason things become cliches and stereotypes is because they happen a lot in real life...its perfectly plausible that someone might invite a workmate with whom they work closely to a family occasion, so there's no reason not to do it again. If it well written and tightly plotted no one cares if its a cliche so long as its not a really predictable major plot point (like Ms Marple discovering that it was the Baboon's butler who did it it)
    I.A. By the Barn likes this.

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