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Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Have a Great Idea for a Story!

As my many acquaintances, Face book friends, people at church, and especially those fine individuals who I work with every day at my day job, all find out that I am an aspiring writer and I have published a book, everybody has an idea for a story.

This explains why their has been such an influx of things being published as the world of self publishing has been birthed and is growing into it's own organism.  More people are taking their stories, writing them, and self publishing them.  Let's face it everybody has a story, even if it's just their own.

I have a couple of problems with the sharing of ideas by those to lazy to go through the monumental effort of writing a book, re writing the same book, editing the book, going through it what seems like a million and a half times before you ever publish it. 

1.  Many times their Epiphany is some movie that is due to come out or the advertisements for next seasons television shows they heard or seen and forgot they heard or seen and now believe this is their original idea.

2.  What if you use one of these ideas and that friend that gave it to you ends up being a ex-employee, ex-friend, who is holding a grudge against you years from now after you went through all the work to take that simple idea and turn it into a book.  They may decide to sue you over the rights to the story?

First off, the only way I can be truly sure I never get sued, or if I do that they will never win the case is I come up with my own stories, characters, scenes, action sequences, dialogue between the characters, and nobody is twisted in just the same way that I am.  If they are they are probably writing their own books.  The only person who could claim any rights to my stories besides me would be my editor, who besides me is the only other person who is as intimate with my book as I am, and has given as much of her self as I have. 

Secondly, on a personal note, when I am done with a story, I am done with it.  I have been through it so many times on such a mechanical non emotional level for so long I can't wait to publish it and get onto something new, to let my muse tickle my fancy and let my imagination run wild once again.

Part of my processes for plot twists is to try and write myself into corners, create problems and then go solve them.  To juggle a problem in my sub-conscious always there and present as I go through out the course of my day.  To throw different solutions at it and let each run it's course until it dead ends and start over again.  Usually by the time I done I have several solutions picked out that will work, and one I want to use in my story. 

How do I know somebody would never win a case against me as far as whose story idea it was.  Because I have what they don't.  Files with diagram's, character sheets, rough drafts of scenes, chapters, first draft, second draft, you can see the story take shape from it's beginning to end, see how the plot twists and surprising solutions were arrived at.  Diagrams of the actions scenes so I can keep track of who is where and what was going on over there as I wrote the story.  Somebody else would not have all that crap or a finished book to back it all up with. 

The other problem with all of this is, it not that I don't trust my friends, or believe they have good ideas.  I have kind of liked a few that I have heard over time.  I make a point of never writing down a story idea I get from somebody else, so my natural tendency of when I sleep and wake up it will be cleared and erased from my mind.

I do write down my own story ideas and put them in a folder.  When and if the idea germinates and grows into something that out grows the folder it gets it's own folder and still waits until I done with what I am currently working on.  Later when the other projects are done I will go to this hidden vault and grab one of the waiting original ideas that are all mine.

As it stands I have over 30 ideas, or books to write, that will be enough to keep me very busy writing and trying to publish two books a year for the next fifteen years.  If providence and the reading world so shines up to my stories and financially I can stay home and do this full time I will endeavor to do more in less time.  The creative part is the easy and fun part and I will probably never run out of great stuff to read, and never run of of great stuff to write.

On that note, there is so much out there to pick from to read, if you don't thoroughly enjoy what your reading put it down and get something else.  Life is too short and reading is a blessing, relaxing, exciting, fun, enjoyable, informational, and yours to pick!  On the flip side of the coin if you don't like what I am writing, I am OK with that!  Read Something You Enjoy!!  I enjoy what I write!  I write what I would like to read but nobody has written it yet, so I had to write my own book!  Obviously there are others with similar tastes as mine, but I realize it won't be every body's cup of tea. 

My Second Novel is packed full of cussing!  This bothers me on one level, but by leaving the cussing in there I am being true to my self and the story.  I want those parts of the book to be shocking, and upsetting, and in your face in an offensive way.  So it stays.  Not all my books will be so crude in their language.  But this book is because also I know where the second and third books are going to go already!  I know where these characters end up in the end!  The changes would not be so dramatic if they didn't start where they did and come from where they did, confused, give it a couple of years and three books from now and it will all make perfect sense.

Have a Great Idea?  Is it yours?  Is it original?  If your answer to all three of these is YES, you should be writing a book, I think.  If your your answer is NO, go find a good book and lose yourself in it.  I mean that in a positive and happy kind of way!


Jo Murphey said...

Thomas, hearing a story and writing it into a 50,000 + words novel are two different things. I do this in my creative writing classes...give a kernel, a bit of background, or a scene and let the students run with it. Like you say, nobody is hardwired or twisted like you are. Not one of thirty students will have the same story.

Some people just don't know how to write a story. A story take imagination, creativity, problem solving, pacing, tension, and a host of other details many do not have the patience to do.

We have been working together for six months now. Even though I have written corrections and offered suggestions, I won't know what you do with them until I read the final draft. This is the true craft of a writer.

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