1. pensmightierthanthesword

    pensmightierthanthesword Member

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    Do You Like to Talk About Your Stories or Would You Rather Them Be a Secret?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by pensmightierthanthesword, Jan 26, 2017.

    I use to tell people about my ideas because my stories and story ideas have always had a philosophical bent. I picked that idea up from watching interviews with Wes Craven were he explained where Freddy Krueger came from and the whole idea of going out doors to escape reality. It made me realize that wow a story can have philosophical underpinnings. I adopted that idea ever since.

    So I'd tell people about these story ideas I had because it was like discussing my philosophies or curiosities with them. Then I watched a movie called Dreamscape which had a similar plot to A Nightmare on Elm Street (it came out before A Nightmare on Elm Street) and had the villain wearing knives for fingers in one scene. It seemed very unoriginal compared to A Nightmare on Elm Street and I wondered if Wes Craven had told the writer or director about the plot of his script which he shopped around and maybe that idea was stolen or maybe he told it to someone who knew Wes and the creator of Dreamscape and the idea was stolen maybe by accident or intentionally. It made me wonder if I should talk about my ideas as a writer because what if someone steals my idea verbatim or elements of my idea?

    I guess it's an irrational fear, but one lady told me that she only tells people the bare essentials of her story ideas without giving the finer details. When I ask questions about my story I don't like to talk about the broader story, but the elements that I need to fix a specific plot point.

    Does anyone else do this? It's okay if you think my paranoid irrational fear makes me sound dumb or silly. I'm not arrogant. I don't think I'm the greatest writer in the world (I have humility), but if I'm onto something I don't want to risk losing it. I guess that makes me a selfish person.
     
  2. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Shenanigan Master Contributor

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    I do like to talk about my stories, especially with my family and friends. It helps me figure things out as well as get motivation to actually work on it. I am a bit paranoid about sharing too much on the internet though.
     
  3. Lucifette

    Lucifette Member

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    I don't talk about my writing simply because most people don't care. And I say that in the sense that the people in my life aren't into writing so I just don't discuss it with them. My best friend, however, is a writer like me and we often hold "writing sessions" to bounce ideas off of one another and attempt to create. Now has she told me about a story she had in mind and I thought "hmmm"? Yes, absolutely. I think it's inevitable that some stories will be similar. As far as on the internet goes I never have. I don't plan on sharing much besides asking for advice or minor plot suggestions. I may just give a vague topic like for example I'm writing a story about sexual assault. That's it for now.
     
  4. pensmightierthanthesword

    pensmightierthanthesword Member

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    When it comes to the internet I'm the same way, but when it comes to regular people they probably don't care. But there is that possibility, and this is me being paranoid again, of that person knowing a writer and casually mentioning it to them without remembering where they heard it from and that writer uses that idea later. If it's with another writer I'd tell them my idea but I've never had the chance to collaborate on a work.
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I'll talk about my stories with anyone who'll give me an ear. Ideas and elements are only just that. I can point to almost anything in my own story and tick off half a dozen other stories I've read that have similar elements. In a word, there's nothing new under the sun.

    I don't usually post my actual, live work, though. Anything of mine you see in the Workshop is beta stuff, dropped scenes, scenes that took a major rewrite afterwards, etc. I'm of the mindset that anything I write is my writing, and any critique I get on that helps me no differently than if I were to post an actual live scene.
     
  6. Lucifette

    Lucifette Member

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    You do bring up a good point. It is rare. Who knows that one day you'll finally get around to publishing them bam, get told that you can't use that because it's already been done; thanks to the family member who absently mentioned your plot ideas and it fell onto the ears of a fellow writer :rolleyes: I do believe as long as you don't give an outline of your work then it's fine. Like mentioned above there are similar elements to everything we write about.
     
  7. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Someone 'stealing' am idea is the least damaging thing that could happen to you when sharing your writing.
    Even assuming your idea is so good and unique that someone feels the need to drop their own in lieu of it (basically 0% chance), they then still have to write the damn thing which we all know is the hardest part. Even if all that happens, the chances of the resulting story ending up similar enough that anyone will care is another minuscule percentage.

    Thieves are rare enough that it's not worth particularly worrying about unless you're Dan Brown or such, and those that are in business are in the business of stealing whole stories, not ~ideas~

    So these two films had stuff in common. So cares? Horror isn't all that known for pushing the envelope (milestones in the genre not withstanding), and this plainly didn't harm either movie. Even if the idea of Freddie and his knife fingers was stolen, the fact that I've heard of Nightmare on Elm Street and not the other proves how insignificant this is as a concern.
     
  8. pensmightierthanthesword

    pensmightierthanthesword Member

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    Wreybies is right. Every story we ever write has already been written in some way or a similar idea has been used. It's hard to have an original idea per se, but to make it your own is what's original about your specific story.

    My scenario I gave kind of reminds me of something I'd see out of an absurd Hitchcock film. It's possible. You never know. It's kind of like the seven degrees of separation or Kevin Bacon (whatever term you prefer) in a sense. Someone should write a story about a guy who tells his mother an idea and she tells her friend at work who tells her writer friend and the idea is stolen and through some odd and outrageous circumstances, a Hitchcock-esque thriller is born.
     
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  9. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Something having already been done is an explanation that features on precisely 0 rejection letters.

    Oh sure teen dystopia and zombie apocalypses are dead and buried, but that's a whole subgenre that was done over and over, not a single plot.
     
  10. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I will happily talk the ears off of anyone who will listen to me natter on about my stories. I've never really thought about someone stealing my ideas - for one, I don't think my ideas are unique or original enough that someone would want to take them. I write contemporary gay romance, and pretty much everything I write can be boiled down to boy meets boy, they bang, and eventually they fall in love and live happily ever after.

    I think another reason is that even if someone had the same idea as me, I'm going to doubt they'll execute it as awesomely as I will. At least that's what I tell myself. :D
     
  11. handsinthegarden

    handsinthegarden Member

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    I don't share mine, mainly because I'm just rather shy.
     
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  12. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    I love talking about my stories. It makes me feel like I'm writing without actually having to do it.
     
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  13. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Haha :-D Yes! Like making maps for my stories. I'm totally doing something writing related. Totally. It's the same as writing. I'm writing. Maps are practically chapters. Yeah. Chapters. :whistle: :bigwink:
     
  14. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I don't talk about mine - I assume people would be bored.
     
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  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Well it depends really. Though I seem to, it is not really anything about them.
    I just figure that no one cares, they are just being polite.
     
  16. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Though...might be an idea for a story. I mean, take a random poster - steal the puny 'Blue Avenger' character & pump millions, given resources, into marketing the figure for Coca-Cola, Pirelli and Burger King. Worth a crowd-fund, certainly. I'd volunteer as victim, my philosophy of 'what goes around, it then comes around' is unique, for sure. A bird in the hand is worth three in a tree is all me, etcetera.

    delete in 90 seconds
     
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  17. Youssef Salameh

    Youssef Salameh Senior Member

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    Hi,
    In my point of view, yes, a person should convey his philosophical ideas, because by doing this, understanding between people may grow, and thus friendship.
    But the philosophical views should by conveyed to right audiences or readers, but before that the (philosophical ideas) should be checked for their validity; because there are many many philosophies nowadays that contradict each other; many people may invent their own. We are all human being apt to do mistakes; including me.
    Besides, if there should be any idea or event that cannot be expressed directly, then it could be expressed in symbols, for example, sun represents faith, a hard working man/woman represents continuity in life, etc...
    It depends on the writer's literary talent also.
    And we wish you all the best of luck.:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  18. Velvet Sky

    Velvet Sky New Member

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    I'll talk about my stories with certain friends who I know are also writers, or with a group of writers; in general though I prefer not to as most people do not take it seriously and couldn't care less.
     
  19. TheSameDullKnife

    TheSameDullKnife New Member

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    I used to talk with my sister about writing a lot. The two of us would both write stories, so we'd sit down together and bounce ideas off each other to work out the plot or other such things. I miss doing that as it was a very useful and integral part of my writing process. I would never do such a thing with someone I didn't trust with the information, however, not because I necessarily think they'd steal it, but more because for me writing is a very personal endeavor, as so much of oneself goes into any given work, consciously or no, and when my work is unfinished, it possibly contains too much of myself that I wouldn't necessarily want to be exposed in such a way, if that makes sense. So if I go into any details of something I'm writing with you, like beyond vagueries, then consider it a sign I value you as a person over most other humans, I guess. It's better to discuss such things with other writers, but not necessary.

    Perhaps I'm simply an odd one, however.
     
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  20. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

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    I find that I'm very secretive about my own works, mostly because I have been writing since I was 14 (got me out of a suicidal phase) and my parents constantly would harp on about how it 'wasn't a career' and generally showed no faith or respect for my passion in it. Made it very hard to finish anything I can tell you.

    I'm always happy to be a beta-reader or discuss plots for the sake of development though.
     
  21. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Senior Member

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    ParanoidIrrationalFear, sounds like my new username. I personally hesitate before releasing any aspects of my stories to where they can be plagiarized by anyone anonymously. In fact, I hesitate to even discuss my stories with anyone I feel won't contribute to it in one fashion or another.

    I devote time to trying to make my worldbuilding unique, as much as it can be these days, and thus do not wish to see examples in other stories within the same genre. I wish intellectual property was able to be safeguarded to an extent where I could feel comfortable freely discussing it, but it isn't.

    If Capitalism has taught me anything it's that it doesn't matter who came up with the idea first but rather who did it better. I could take that as it shouldn't matter, but I would lose my passion for writing my story. It's hard to feel excited bringing your life to idea when it's already happened.
     
  22. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    I like to talk about my story to trusted friends, and I'll go on and on until stopped. Sigh.

    But the reason why I'm not talking about it here in the web (apart from the occassional reference or research question) has nothing to do with 'stealing of ideas', it's rather that I like to solve my problems for myself. This story is MY baby, and I am the one who is responsible for birthing it (including each and every flaw). I like to gift myself with eureka moments, and if someone else would chime in I'd deprive myself of them. I am a throughly selfish bastard :D
     
  23. FrankieWuh

    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Like most of you, I'm not that worried about ideas being stolen. The core of any story has been retold over and over again anyway, but if it hinges on a particular innovative idea (like a type of communication, space travel, or weapon, political faction, philosophy etc) I wouldn't usually go into that with anyone other than an agent or an editor. I've found that plot devices and ideas can be too insubstantial to be discussed in the same breath as plot without some confusion (and I'm usually not drunk enough to ramble about it, honest!)

    However, while I am certainly not too shy to share, I've found that by verbally telling someone the story, I chip away at my enthusiasm to commit it to paper. And the more I tell people about the story I am writing, or want to write, the less I get the urge to write it.

    I count myself as a story-teller first, rather than a writer, so I suppose that's just me losing the desire to retell what I've already told. To avoid that, I don't tell anyone about the work in progress until the first draft is done. That way I still have the story's engineering flaws to contend with, but at the same time I can test whether someone else will consider the story unegaging, or has been done before, and better.

    Kinda like asking an elephant to test my bridge by jumping up and down on it, rather than opening it to toll-paying customers who might end up swimming in the river, while my construction falls down around their ears. :eek:
     

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