Can you take concepts from other stories? What if somebody takes your concepts? In fact, are your ideas even sufficient at all? If youve ever asked concerns like these, I have great news for you.
Im just asking if its excellent.
As soon as an author gets beyond the hoarding phase and starts sharing ideas, too typically they just do it to secure approval. My students often been available in or email me, “I have this idea. Can you inform me if its great?” Some writers do this same thing, sending out ideas and half ended up chapters to authors they love for feedback (stop doing this, please).
My response: Who knows? Who knows until you perform it completely?
In my early days of mentor, I probably would have guided writers to concepts I discovered more “worthwhile,” but I have actually given that realized that I am not the gatekeeper of good concepts. This irritates students to no end.
” Just tell me if its great!” they say, exasperated.
I inform them, “Look, if you had actually come to me 10 years earlier and stated you want to compose a story about twisters and sharks, I would have told you to select either sharks or tornadoes. Till you write it and try it out, who knows if it will find an audience?”.
Elizabeth Acevedo, author of The Poet X, has talked candidly about her disappointment with a professor in her MFA program who had assigned a poem about nature. Shes from New York City, and she d picked to compose about rats.
That they werent an excellent idea. She wrote an astonishing poem that recorded her distinct point of view and voice.
Stop awaiting somebody to inform you a concept is “great.” If it is something youve been mulling over for a while, something you cant get out of your head, compose it down and finish it. Just then can you assess where it lacks originality and then you can modify.
The very same, but various.
There are whole books about how real artists adjust and construct from concepts already worldwide (see Austin Kleons book Steal Like an Artist, or the whole Shakespeare canon). When you find ideas in others work that capture your attention and keep you up in the evening? Spin those in your own instructions, in your own voice.
You might start in the exact same place as another writer, but you will likely end up someplace various due to the fact that you have a distinct point of view.
Genre fiction deals with the entire principle of “the exact same, but various.” Anyone who gets a romance expects two individuals to satisfy, experience issues and setbacks, and after that lastly accept they remain in love. The romances that rise to the top tend to perform those expectations in a unanticipated or fresh way.
Stop stressing about resemblances when you know youre not pasting and copying someones work. I would argue most establishing writers simulate their favorite authors at first anyway, and it is a natural part of growth.
Its unproductive to stay paralyzed in worry that your idea will be taken or that its too similar to something else. Stop letting those excuses keep your from composing your story.
What concepts have you been fretting or hoarding were excessive like something else to attempt? Share if you dare in the remarks.
Can you steal ideas from other stories? Or writers hoard ideas like a dragon sitting on gold, convinced that someone is about to take them. They hoard their concepts to keep others from “taking” them. The point is this: an idea cant be taken. There are whole books about how real artists build and adjust from concepts already in the world (see Austin Kleons book Steal Like an Artist, or the whole Shakespeare canon).
A common refrain I speak with writers is that they have an idea, but its excessive like ___________ (fill in the blank with whatever book, motion picture, reveal you like). Or writers hoard ideas like a dragon sitting on gold, convinced that someone will steal them. Both of these beliefs injure you as an author because they are grounded in worry.
What if someone steals my idea?
They hoard their concepts to keep others from “stealing” them. Can an idea be taken?
I stumbled onto a Reddit thread just recently that compared stories or movies with similar plotlines that had actually been carried out into extremely various stories.
Plot: “Tom Hanks flight does not work out.” Stories: Apollo 13, Cast Away, Terminal, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. (Source: Reddit, golfandpie).
Plot: “Overprotective, single daddy falls into dangerous circumstances searching for abducted child.” Stories: Finding Nemo and Taken. ( Source: Reddit, AndySocks).
And my favorite:.
Plot: “Stole a loaf of bread, went to jail, was given riches by somebody, got political office, took part in disobedience against the government, has longstanding fight with one specific government official, eventually affects this opponent to beat himself.” Stories: Aladdin and Les Miserables. ( Source: Reddit, zninjazero).
Were these premises taken? * gasp! * The idea is laughable. Nobody strolled into the writing space on Taken and said, “You know, lets write Finding Nemo as an action film!”.
But even if they had, they developed something so vastly various, for an entirely brand-new audience. All of these plotlines could be spun into distinct stories, depending upon the characters, setting, and voice.
Some even argue that there are only a handful of plots. (See Foster-Harriss three standard plot patterns, Vonneguts story shapes, Bookers The Seven Basic Plots or the twenty master plots of Ronald Tobias.) The originality isnt in the core plotline– it remains in the special, specific execution of that plot, of that characters journey.
The point is this: an idea cant be taken. A concept, one youre simply talking about?
An idea cant be stolen. Two authors who start with the very same concept will develop 2 greatly different stories.
Its your rely on “steal” a concept. Using one of the movie plots above, spin a brand-new variation by including voice, setting, or character to produce a distinct property.
Or do you have an idea youve been conserving up, one youve been too scared to try? Start now. Compose the first paragraph or page.
Take fifteen minutes to compose. When youre done, share your writing in the comments, and make sure to leave feedback for your fellow authors!
Sue Weems is a writer, teacher, and tourist with a postgraduate degree in (mostly imaginary) revenge. When shes not rationalizing her love for parentheses (and significant asides), she follows a sailor around the world with their 4 kids, 2 canines, and an impossibly tall stack of books to check out. You can read more of her writing pointers on.