Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’

I adore film, video-games, and really any form of media able to tell a good story. Irrespective of it’s originality. In that, most things aren’t original anymore by perhaps the concept. However, the artistic fingerprint, content, perspective and a slew of other things make it unique and special. But I find a worrisome thing. It seems as though to me that there are many video games and films which  take an excellent premise and do a piss poor job at executing it. Resulting in a failure of a piece of art. Devolving into, gimmickry, and anyone who creates a latter work that contains such a premise runs into problems.

Take for instance R.I.P.D., the concept was amazing and if executed well, would be exciting, thrilling, and perhaps even philosophical. However, it comes off as a fraction of what it could have been. Too big as well, instead of focusing on a smaller scale conflict and exploring the idea, they went to apocalyptic levels. This leads them to have no where to go afterward. The possibilities of future endeavors is dried up. But the problem I find is, there may be phenomenal stories surrounding this idea. However if other writers were to create works on such an idea (ignorant or not of the existing property)  many people will liken it to R.I.P.D. Either the new work (thought out or not) will be treated as being a rip off, gimmicky, or ‘we already saw that’. Eliminating potential good work. All because someone thought, ‘hey cool idea, rush it through, hollywoodify it’ and well, that idea is now ‘taken’ and will require x-amount of years before it’s gone from the collective movie-lover consciousness.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with making films on ideas like this. Obviously. That’d be counterproductive, uncreative and arrogant. But I worry that when these concepts are placed out there like such that consumers of any medium (film, book, game) will look at it like ‘yep, saw that, it was *insert intellectual property* and your just ripping them off. Wizards? Harry Potter. Zombies? Walking Dead. It’s not always the case. Certainly not. There are loads of zombies as a central point of stories. Though the undead concept I continue to notice among readers is ‘getting old’. Perhaps it is from a writer’s perspective that works I create might have broad similarities to works not yet produced, resulting in potentially unmarketable books because someone else thought ‘Hey quick let’s make something about mythical monsters! Toss in cardboard characters, weak plot line, explosions, one-liners, and cliche story archs. Now anyone who makes a work on Greek gods will be copying us.’ For a few years.

This really comes off as me being an ass, but I mean, it’s become a running joke now that vampire are sparkly teen romance generators. The trend has continued and made similar stories. Fine if you like them. Every, and I mean every story, has it’s audience and power. But, if I created a vampire book, made similar to the spirit of Interview with the Vampire, it’d be taken as being ‘another vampire book’ currently.

Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but, I know this is coming off as being : ‘don’t create what you want/your work sucks’ and I don’t mean it. 90% of writers can prolly write better than me. the other 10% are the ones who write gibberish on a keyboard and then set it on fire. I’m essentially part of that 10%. Or at least that’s how I see myself from time to time. Still, my works are certainly not necessarily good, but I feel I put time and energy into them, and with BETA readers and editors, my works may become consumable pieces of literature. However, if gimmicky works are are continued to be produced as cash-grabs, which service no honor toward film or literature, I fear eventually a broad idea of my work might get made, resulting in comparison and loss of potential readers. Not a loss of profit, but a loss of people who’d actually enjoy it. Perhaps even attracting those who’d read it for supernatural romance rather than a supernatural thriller, with fantasy and psychological implications.

This isn’t an entry on intent to convince others that there needs to be an end to this. This entry is more so a musing, thoughts about it. It comes off as being cynical, aggressive and childish, but it is a viable frettery in part of my mind. However there is a good chance it’s not that problematic. Thinking of Dr. Indiana Jones, you have both Lara Croft and Nathan Drake. Two iconic video-game explorers who hold their own and don’t feel close to Dr. Jones. There is a good chance no matter the pop-cultural awareness/recent takes on paranormal adventures, perhaps I will be alright not having such concepts as specters, out of body experiences and the like made so my work isn’t a mere comparative piece. Kudos to those who make comments that they’ll make a work on such and ensure to give it no personality or their artistic fingerprint in order to sound clever.

Anyway, this was more of a rant or sorts. Aimless, to get thoughts out, and perhaps to those who are interested, to get conversations to go. Again, there is no real point to this. Nothing should be done. Nothing could be done without becoming artistic dictators and completely annihilating the artistic endeavor. Of which, I’d be utterly ashamed.

Perhaps the point of this isn’t that if someone made a game about someone with two souls inside of them, then your work with a character who has two souls is now unusable because you’re ripping off another property. (Again, irrespective of your knowledge of the other property, or what have you.) But rather, your work stands out as being it’s own based on it’s quality. Or the other concepts and story archs that makes it a good story. So on and so forth.

It amazes me how divided I am on this issue. As I write this, I go back and forth.

Anyway, if interested what are your thoughts? Do you think it to be something not bothersome? Or does it annoy you? There is a good portion of me that thinks I overthink things too much. Probably right. Might not be in this instance. Maybe. Don’t know.

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Thoughts On ‘Claiming Concepts’

Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to change your work. When you finish your ‘last’ draft and hand it out to BETAs, their comments will probably reshape your work (for the better), and then, when it’s polished like diamonds, the eventual edit before publication will reshape it further.

So don’t be afraid to change it, your work needs to continue to flourish. Change is universal. Just be mindful with your works’ transformations!

If I say this enough it’ll really stick in my head. X3

 

Status

No Clear End.

This was on my mind. And I felt uneasy until I finally had gotten these thoughts out of my system.

I, at one point or another, fretted over the reinventions of the first story I wished to tell. I’ve devised four different takes (of the most recent), each possessing their own sub-revisions. As such Version A, B, C, and D, each one different from the other. Either settings, characters, plot-line and so on. Each Version had revisions within that version. The intention on the final universe was in mind. It would take years of practice.
My goal at the onset of the most recent incarnation of the first story, wasn’t for publication, it was for pure enjoyment and practice. My skill level was a such dismal state that I knew it would be a long time until I could find the true story, possess the narrative skills, and be able to express the real characters. (Not that my skill set is that great still. It’s better, but could also ‘be’ better)
Over years I developed these people, creatures and lore. They dwelt in my dreams, in my daily thoughts, they had become to me, like Spider-man, Harry Potter, Aegis, The Winchesters, Odd Thomas, to mention a few, which have a life of their own. They seem like real people to me existing in mental spaces.

But this process. Admittedly, I at times, regretted the whole process. The insanity of never ending cycles of creation and destruction; ripping apart my characters, reforming them. Changing planets, lore, monsters. I had created, at one point, during high-school, a small sampling of an invented language, which would receive the most attention out of a slew of languages I devised for the planet. I was rather Tolkien obsessed (still am) and had a difficult time dissociating my true deep interests and what I wanted to write out of fanaticism and idolization.

But, these things, these seeming failures, were all tools for refinement. Technically, (if this can be considered) I began writing ‘this’ story, my first story, my current story, the one I was hellbent upon finding, when I turned fifteen or so. It started as a ‘fanfic’ of sorts. I created characters based upon the personae of my friends. So to have a base-work do to my inexperience. (Not that using templates of people you know, or amalgamations are a sign of a lack of skill–it was just a line of thought at the time since my characters were wooden. Like oak. Or maybe acacia)  It was a science fiction. Now, it is a supernatural fantasy, and is as related to the same work as Earth is to Neptune. Same solar system, different planets, different forms.

I cannot disregard the beginnings of my works, but as I’ve realized, I’ve written so much, I’ve created so many different stories looking for ‘the’ story, that I cannot say anymore that I’ve spent ‘x amount of years’ developing this one. True, I started Version A of the most recent iteration of Nara several years ago, but it is unrecognizable to the work I have now entering BETA readers’ hands.

I constantly hear of it takes writers six months to a year, or years to write their work. I’m entirely uncertain, how long I’ve truly been developing Nara. I’ve written the beginnings to other stories, from outlines to several chapters. Even mentally fleshing out the skeletal and blood work of the story. I’ve finished a short story yet to be tested. But really, how long have I been working on Nara? It’s apart of a trilogy of works, which are just the first saga. With the level of fleshing out I’ve managed to do, and wish to incorporate into future works, I could see myself writing many, many books  of different stories within a singular universe. Different kinds of stories, from psychics to mages; to knights, and the mundane, all within the same universe. It’s a romantic idea, and may not be as expansive do to my uninterest in pursuing certain genera, but perhaps a form of it will come to pass.

I also encounter many predicaments in that many, many authors discourage working on sequels; the chance your first of the series will not be published, will potentially kill your subsequent works. Resulting in wasted time, a broken heart, and maybe some pissed characters. But the problem I face is that I don’t ‘feel’ I have a choice. I need to write these people, and stories out. Irrespective of the potential publication or lack thereof. There are other characters, other stories begging to be written, and I’ve humored them to a point; but my center goal, the loudest people, need to exist, for me, for them.

It is only recently, have I reached a level of literary as well as pictorial artistic levels that I feel I may be on the precipice of reaching public consumption. I soon may, if I keep trudging through this tundra, find people who adore these stories and wish to experience them. I will truly be happy if these characters are given life by more than just me.

Am I happy all the time writing with such potential failure? No. Do I sometimes worry, regret and even mock myself for my self assumed idiocy for pursuing this? Yes. Do I still think, in the end, it is worth it? It’s me, it’s my deep desire, and I can’t deny what I love.

See you, readers.

No Clear End.

Usual check-list for Writting

So, I don’t really have a writing desk at the moment. (I write anywhere, everywhere–well not really. But lots of places) So I can’t take a photo and share… But, I do have a list of things I do to help me getting into writing mode.

  1. Locations: Bed, cafe/diner, sort of writing desk
  2. Appropriate music, I listen to whatever music fits whatever I’m writing. Or sometimes it doesn’t need to be scene-specific. I also enjoy ambiance, it helps with setting tones, or even just letting me trance out.
  3. Coffee, snacks, other drinks.
  4. Isolation. Nothing is more distracting than your friends. You love them, but damn are they distracting. Being alone allows for you to really delve into your mind.
  5. Write, write, write, and then become so grooved into it, you forget reality. Not really something I think properly fits here, but (like with everyone else I bet) when you write enough during a session, you lose yourself in it, you fall into a beautiful trance.
  6. Walking, i go walking a lot, I play music (usually) and just mentally make scenes, or use imaginary interviews in order to get myself thinking about certain things about my book(s).
  7. Drawing, sketching, characters, and locations. It helps me connect to my story. I feel like by drawing them out I’m getting another side of my story.
  8. Writing things about the character that isn’t necessarily in the story, but it helps you get an idea of how they are. Also, depending on what you come up with, you could have discovered part of their actual life.
  9. Playing video-games (RPGs for me) or reading books/blogs outside of my genera. It can inspire me, give me ideas, and if it’s outside of my genera I won’t compare it (necessarily) to my work and run risk of maiming my beautiful (to me!) story by thinking it needs to be like (or exactly like) someone else’s work. (Because they are like 400% better than me.)
  10. Creating a ‘general notes’ document for either an individual story or the series. I currently have one for my series. I separate volume-specific info, but I always keep it open in case an idea comes to mind. I’ll then write it out, sometimes even developing into long data entries or scenes.

That’s all for now (I think)

What sort of things do you do to really get into the writing mood?

Usual check-list for Writting