Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Insecure Writer's Blog Hop for April, 2016

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Do you feel as though every good thought you've ever had is only a rehashing of someone else's dream? Even Hollywood right now is remaking and repackaging movies which were considered classics in their first (or second) incarnation. What about when you're writing, have you ever felt a sense of deja vu?

Someone once said there are no new ideas in the the world, only new interpretations. But I would amend that statement to be there are only as many new ideas in the world as there are ways to express them. While there may only be one successful design on how to build a wheel, there are a zillion and one ways to make a wheel unique.

That is what writers do, attempt to take the everyday, the already covered, and make it into something fresh and new. Some are more adept at this than others, but each one creates their version of a story. Which is why if you interview 100 witnesses to a crime, you will get 100 individual stories.

In thinking about what to discuss this month, I fixated on the story alone. A friend recently wrote a short story in which the central theme related to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, "Phantom of the Opera", in and of itself a re-imagining of the book of the same name. With countless stage productions as well as a movie, what could possibly be done that makes this a 'new' twist?

It takes an idea to create the hook. Once you have the hook, then the characters begin to develop. Soon all the elements play together to create a new story. A 'this is what I would have done' creation of ideas, imagination and interpretation.

Even books we consider 'classic' have issues that upset up, twists we would have done differently. For example, "Gone with the Wind" was written by a fellow Atlantan, Margaret Mitchell. I dislike the book in so many ways. If I had been Scarlet, I would have hooked Rhett in the first three chapters and had him sweep me away from Tara to some Caribbean stronghold to wait out the War in peace and quiet. (I'm only half kidding.)

What about you? Do you have any favorite books that just don't quiet go the way you wanted? Any main characters who end up together when by rights they should have gone with the one that got away? As a writing exercise, try taking a chapter from any story you know well. Rework it to show a different conclusion. Give the story a new meaning. Try to imagine what the author was feeling or working toward when they crafted those words.

On the shameless Self-Promotion front, I will be at the Novel Experience Event at the Sheraton in Atlanta, Ga this Saturday, April 9th from 10am to 5pm. I will have print copies of "Catalyst - Guardian Rising", along with other swag, so if you are in the area, stop by and check us out!  This is my first non-sci fi con, so I am super excited to meet both readers and other writers.

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