Discussion in 'General Writing' started by teeekilicious18, Oct 29, 2013.
Have you ever? ...
I'm not so sure I understand what you're asking.
If you're asking have I ever been afraid that my ideas, after expressing them to my peers, will be taken from me, or stolen, then no I haven't been afraid. At least, not until recently.
About a week ago, I had an idea come to me that I've been really playing with, more so than any other idea I've come up with. As a result, I've sort of started developing my own theory that attempts to define what our emotional experience is dependant upon (at least, I'm hoping there's some originality in this theory of mine. I need to do some research to confirm this, but whatever. As of now, I've never come across/read/or seen anyone discuss the subject matter pertaining to what I'm thinking, but I'm also not naive enough to believe that I'm the only person to ever ponder such an idea). But anyway, I digress. I've told it to a few people, people who are incredibly well-read, and what do you know. They found the concept more than fascinating. A few even began giggling to themselves while I was trying to explain what I've come up with so far. No doubt they are envisioning/imagining something taking place and it's entertaining the shit out of them, which seems to me to be a good thing, or at least an indication I may have accidentally stumbled onto something worth exploring. Ever since, I've purposely refrained from discussing it in detail online, such as on Facebook, or any other public forum because I now harbor the fear that someone may take this and turn it into a story, before I do.
Has been quite a weird experience for me, to say the least, because I've never felt this way about any of my writings, or ideas, until now. Before this happened, I was more than happy to talk about any and everything regarding a story concept, or something I was attempting to shape into a story. But some things do change, I guess. I'm still waiting for the moment to come when I find out that this precious little idea of mine has been done over and over again and was nothing but something my subconscious mind absorbed somewhere along the way. Hopefully not...
If you're asking have I ever been afraid that my story ideas have been done already and/or are cliche, then yes, of course! All the freaking time! This fear goes right along with my other fears--doubting that I can even pull a story off, that my writing will never be good enough to be read, that I'll never become a writer better than 'bad,' and so on and so forth.
My advice though is to keep on writing, anyway. No one ever starts off with an original idea. Most ideas have in fact been done before, but it's your perspective that matters. No one has seen the world exactly the way you do, nor can they. Some astute thinkers may be able to speculate as to what your scope of life magnifies and considers and dismisses and ignores, but like a mathematical asymptote, no matter how close they get, in the end, they'll never fully grasp what is for all intents and purposes, your perspective, your truth, or more relevant to the topic at hand, your story.
Hope this helps.
it does thanks hmmmm I'm also afraid of my grammar. It's never been good and I do keep annoying people asking to help me edit. I'm so not confident with my grammar this is why I need my writing partner to be there for me but she's not always there for me all the time cause she's also busy. Any advice on how to perfect your grammar?
I would purchase a used English Grammar book and refresh yourself on the basic principles and usages of the language.
Also, READ A LOT OF GOOD WRITING. There's no better way to grasp the use of grammar than by reading good writing. Moreover, you get to see how and maybe why someone broke a grammar rule, because the rules are there as guidelines, but they can be broken when meaning and good reasoning call for it.
Actually, I would maybe suggest reading good genre-fiction (as in, commercial fiction written by authors who know what they are doing, whose prose is very good), because they have more of a tendency to stick to the rules and use grammar as it's usually expected to be used than those Literary Masters who have pretty much turned every rule on its head, and then some.
Then, I would make a promise to myself to do my best to always write, using correct punctuation and grammar, and to also be open to the feedback and critique of others, when I make mistakes, because I will.
I have a basic understanding of grammar myself and still make TONS of mistakes, regularly.
I agree with Ghost here. There are many similar stories out there, made by different perspective. Look at Hunger games for example. Some critics have said it's a ripoff of Battle Royale, even Stephen King claimed it has some similarities with two of his books. Other critics just said it's a similar idea set in different (cultural) environment.
I think there's a big difference between stealing someone's idea or using similar idea in your own way.
I, for example, currently have an idea that's somehow a mixture of Hunger games and V for vendetta, but it has different environment and the plot is also quite different. Heroes, villains, they're different, but the idea is the same; changing the dictatorial regime.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. There is a quote that I cannot remember, but the gist of it is that there are only a dozen stories that exist. Every story out there is some variation of one of them. (Actually the number might be less than a dozen). You are unique. Some part of you is in each of your characters. Your characters make the story unique.
I have never felt this way about my writing, but that's most likely because I've been through it with my art. While I only started writing relatively recently, I have liked drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and I learned it by reproducing other people's work, whether it was like they did it or in a different way. After lots of practice that way I just sort of happened to develop my own style, my own ideas, my own combination of techniques etc. It's just the way you learn; by doing what others do. No one, no one at all, has ever learned to walk or speak by simply doing something, you've always had to immitate something, somewhere.
Another reason why I don't care whether what I write is a cliche/original or not is because I know it's very likely that I will not sell any of the work I'll write between now and in a couple of years. I have not sold my first drawing and I'm not intending to publish my first novel, because I lack(ed) the experience and understanding to really be good and I am/was aware of that. To me it's as simple as that.
Of course I hope there will be a day when my writing will be published, but until then I don't really care about the opinion of others. I write to practice for now, and while that's still the case I don't really care whether my ideas are entirely original as long as I can read what I've written, learn from my mistakes while I edit old work and experiment with possibilities while I write something new.
When it comes to people using my work as inspiration I don't really care; people are free to do so as long as they link to the original. If that's the case I don't really bother, in fact I take it as a compliment rather than anything else. In my opinion work that's not to be used by others just shouldn't be posted online where millions of people can see it.
What does bother me is when someone duplicates my work (mostly my artwork, since that's entirely original) and claims it as his or her own. It happened to me once, with one of the first original pieces I ever made. I wasn't exactly happy at the time, but I decided I should just get over it and I suppose I did
The only time it would really bother me is when someone would "steal" my work and get more credit for it than I did.
Yup I've been afraid that it's been done but not cliche. My ideas are too insane.
liz... here's my take on the subject:
did you mean:
Have you ever been afraid that your stories' ideas have already been used and are cliche?
if so, see what i said above, then relax and just write whatever you have in mind, because no two writers will ever write the same story in exactly the same way...
love and hugs, maia
I'm sure there's another story out there somewhere where a drug addict ER doctor gets caught and subsequently sent to inpatient rehab for 90 days. Or some variation of it. Does it bother me? Not really, because I'm writing it my own way...
It's not hard to learn good grammar. It just takes a little effort. And the beauty of it is that once you learn, it's just as easy to use good grammar as it is to use poor grammar.
Ditto @mammamaia's take on the three concepts. My favorite example is West Side Story - it's Romeo and Juliet with a different time, setting and vocabulary.
Relentless reading is the key to good grammar in my experience.
Brooker's "Seven Basic Plots"? Seven is less than a dozen.
It could be. I can't remember where I first heard it -- it was worded slightly differently, but they very well could have been referring to Brooker, and the number could have been seven. But the point is, there is a relatively small number of basic plots. The general stories have all been told. It's the details and the characters that make them unique.
Yes, Brooker says that each of the 7 can be subverted to give an inverted form, so that makes 14, and one can quibble about the number of 7, and most full length novels include multiple plots, but the overall idea is fair enough: every plot has already been done countless times.
My story can obviously be seen as a copy of two stories. But I have added my own unique twists to it which I hope is actually unique.
my take on 'originality' is:
there are only 3 basic plots:
man vs man [includes 'aliens']
man vs god [includes nature]
man vs self
first 'written' on the walls of their authors' cave-homes, everything written since is just 'creative plagiarism'
I've been reading Lord of the Rings to my 7-year-old. As we were finishing a chapter last night, he said to me, "Mommy, all stories are Lord of the Rings. They're all the same, just different." So that's his take on the matter.
smart kid you've got there!
I usually take his words as gospel.
Which I suppose can all be reduced to one plot: somebody/something vs. somebody/something.
Separate names with a comma.