The Creative Writer's Toolbelt discussion

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Need advice on motivation.

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul | 13 comments Hi all,
I've been working on my first book for over a year, a story which I thought was pretty unique only to see that a new TV series has just come out which is almost identical. I now feel completely demoralised.
I don't know whether to watch the whole series or not.
I am feeling that the book will be seen as a cheap knock off of the show.

P


message 2: by Julie (last edited Jan 17, 2020 02:46PM) (new)

Julie Cordiner | 1 comments Paul wrote: "Hi all,
I've been working on my first book for over a year, a story which I thought was pretty unique only to see that a new TV series has just come out which is almost identical. I now feel comple..."


Hi Paul, That must feel awful, but your story will be unique to you, so it won’t necessarily be seen as a copy. Your characters will be different and I’m guessing the setting will be too. In any case, the experience of reading a book is different to a TV show. Not all readers will have seen or even heard of the series. What’s to be lost by carrying on with it?


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul | 13 comments Thank's for the encouragement Julie.


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chamberlain (andychamberlain) | 272 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "Thank's for the encouragement Julie."

Hi Paul, I would echo what Julie says, us writers can be really sensitive to any other work that looks like it might be similar to what we are doing, I know I am, but I suspect that a closer examination of this show and your work will reveal differences, as Julie says, in characters and setting, probably in plot and story arc as well. I think I'd avoid the TV series, watching it will only irritate you, forget about it (if you can) and focus on your own work and making it yours.


message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Allen (nathanhartallen) | 2 comments Paul wrote: "Hi all,
I've been working on my first book for over a year, a story which I thought was pretty unique only to see that a new TV series has just come out which is almost identical. I now feel comple..."


Hey Paul, I know this post is a little old but I thought I'd throw in my encouragement. I'm in the exact same situation you are in at this very moment. I'm not published. Haven't been a great writer in the past, but for some reason a few years back I decided to write a novel (against all advice).

Sometimes I see a new TV show or read a book that *almost* gets to the crux of my topic and even uses some of the similar plot elements to tell it. My biggest fear is that, after seeing it or reading it, I'll wind up "borrowing" a bit too much of it subconsciously. Or it will create this crippling writer's block for me. But I power through those fears, and spend a week or so tossing that particular writer's idea through my head. I find ways around it. I try to remind myself two things:

1) The plot is not the story, and that the characters who are driving home the idea can vary as much as the author who wrote them. We all have different experiences and that flows into our work. As a writer, I think the characters I write will be different and have more depth than the ones I see on TV.

2) Treat your every work as a stepping stone to getting better. Before you write something brilliant, you have to write something mediocre. If that's what you're doing now, it's not a waste. It's just learning.

Additionally: Early on, I decided to write something political, but I really hated authors who got preachy about ideologies in their novels... So I committed to making my work an experiment that fairly presented two sides. I believe when I did that, I inadvertently removed it from the world of judgement. It became about my own inner struggle between two ideas. It became personal in a way that isn't touchable by others' works. Now if you want to sell your work, this may not work for you, but I have to tell you, it's really freed the imagination for me.

Good luck with your writing. And, whatever you do, just don't stop writing.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul | 13 comments Hi Nathan,
Thanks for the encouragement, sounds like you've been through similar. Thankfully, I was able to push through and keep writing. Good luck with your latest project.

Paul


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