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Sticking with a genre. Hints needed.

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semnae



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Tulsa, OK
Sticking with a genre. Hints needed.  Reply with quote  

Hullo, my name is semnae and I am an entertainment sponge.

Like many, I am an aspiring writer. I have the prerequisite box o' crap in the closet, a few stories on the computer, and a couple of character outlines here and there. Standard stuff. Nothing hoohaish.
I still sit down and try to pound out a few pages on whatever story that has gripped me that day but therein lies the problem.
Whatever I am currently influenced by is what I end up writing. I become a theme plagiarist.
To combat this, I've tried becoming a entertainment hermit, avoiding anything that could colour my imagination and style but inevitably something will sneak in and change the entire project or have me going on a completely different story tangent, leaving the one that I was working on in mid-sentence.
I also tried the trick of embracing my inner thief. That didn't work well, either. What I wrote was basically fan-fic with different character names.
Eventually I just threw my hands up in the air and said "Screw it. I'm just deluding myself into thinking that I can cut it as a writer. I think I'll try my hand as a professional ass scratcher"
So I didn't write for many years.
Now I'm back to scribbling in notebooks but I still have the same problem; I bounce from genre to genre, never finishing anything. I am just too influenced by what makes me go "Dude!"

So, here are my questions. How do you stick with something even when you have a lightbulb moment for a new story that you want to start NOW, bedamned current project?

How do you avoid being influenced by anything that comes into your creative orbit?

Also, I have a knack for *deep breath* fluffy pink marshmallow fantasy. That was hard to admit.
Should I just stick with what I'm good at even if I don't want to write it?

Sorry for the ramble (I'm hopped up on post-midnight coffee) and thanks for any input.

Post Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:46 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

If you're influenced, be influenced, just don't steal. I readily admit that I was reading Silence of the Lambs while writing my first book, Practical Demonkeeping, and I created a whole character and scenarios because of the cool techno-thriller aspect of Silence, which was sort of a new thing then. I can also tell if I've been reading Elmore Leonard, because I write bad incomplete sentences with lots of -ing words, like,

"Eat me, douchwaffle." Billy acting tough.

While that shit works well for Leonard, it kind of stands out in my work, and my editor usually writes an official "wtf?" in the margin.

Just write the story. If you get a great idea, sketch it out and put it in your story idea file, but finish the story you're working on. If you don't learn to finish stuff you'll never move on. Ideas often get better with age. You can always make notes. Add them to your idea file.

Post Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:12 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
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