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  1. waitingforzion

    waitingforzion Active Member

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    Problems coming up with ideas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by waitingforzion, Aug 12, 2017.

    I know that before beginning to write anything, one must first determine what is the purpose and thesis of their work, but it seems to be very difficult for me to determine what these things must be whenever I want to write. I think my failure may be due to one of two reasons: Either I know so little about the world that I have no ideas to select and synthesize, or I lack the skills to generate ideas. Perhaps I have both problems. In any case, what do you think I should do?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd say that, no, one absolutely doesn't need to do this.
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Senior Member

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    If you're writing an essay or paper on something, then sure, a thesis is probably a good idea, but for general, non-scholarly writing, theses are pretty useless.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  4. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Active Member

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    As with constipation, so with ideas; stop trying and they will come.
     
    big soft moose likes this.
  5. izzybot

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I was going to say what Chicken said.

    I knew almost nothing about my (kinda finished) wip going into it. I literally had a single line and the vague idea of a couple characters. A lot of building happened in the first 2k or, and a lot of that got reworked and retconned as I went. I'm normally a planner, as well, but it worked out.

    I don't know if you lack the skill to generate ideas or not. I guess I'd recommend some freeform brainstorming - maybe write down vague ideas and elaborate on them, see what you can come up with. A lot of people find prompts helpful. I like one-word prompts, or taking more specific ones and twisting them into something unexpected to exercise my creativity.
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  6. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

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    For me, every time it started with a character I wanted to get to know better. And then I kinda jumped in. Granted, the results involved a lot of pantsing (still does), but the theme didn't become clear before almost a whole year had passed.

    Sure, there are people who plan meticulously before starting to write, but it's not the only way to write. So I say just write what you want to write and let the story take care of itself—and it will. You can start planning when you have more of an idea where the story is going. So don't think you need to know every screw and nut in your story to just write and have fun :)
     
  7. Walking Dog

    Walking Dog Active Member

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    You're looking for something that isn't there. Just start writing, like you did when you posted this question in this forum. But don't stop. And don't be afraid to write crazy stuff. Just keep writing whatever pops into your mind. For instance, maybe you feel light-headed. So you go to the doctor. A cat scan is performed.

    The doctor drops a film on the table, "Sir, you're lightheaded because your head is completely empty."

    "What?" you say.

    "Your head's empty. You don't even have a brain."

    "How is that possible?"

    "We have to run more tests. But we suspect you aren't human."

    No matter how crazy the direction of your writing is going, keep going. Eventually, an interesting idea will emerge that may or may not be related to anything you've just written. That's the time to jot down your outline.
     
    Rosacrvx likes this.
  8. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd be surprised if even most fiction writers do this.

    Seriously dude, just start writing.
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Oh where to start with this one. :P Contributor

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    Chamber Of secrets.jpg
     
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  10. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My favorite method for coming up with a good idea is to start by coming up with the opposite of a bad idea: I take an idea that I don't like seeing people use – either in fiction or in real life – and I write a scene/story which demonstrates why that idea doesn't work.

    After that, I go with brute force: taking a large idea apart, seeing which smaller ideas make up the larger idea, and seeing what happens when I change some of the smaller parts and leave the others alone, what happens if I leave different parts alone and change different ones...
     
  12. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Member

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    This/These is/are very common feeling(s). My suggestion would be to....... write what you know. The act of fleshing out a story will often lead to other stories. Let's say you work in a coffee shop, don't watch/read news, never traveled, etc. Start with what you know- A customer walks into the shop, approaches the counter, and says "(blank)". A hundred things could happen at this point. What would they normally order? What would you not expect them to say?
    As you work on something like that, your brain will most likely start to branch into different themes(?). Jot those down. Run with one of them. Don't like it? Go back to jotted notes & pick another.
     

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