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Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:14 AM

"Simpsons writers have already done that."

Wanting to write yet another short story and ripping ideas from current events and popular culture can have disappointing results.

Titled my new story, written in a couple of nights, Piranha Pool, my take on the popular ABC show, "Shark Tank."

Sort of a murder mystery with some Philip K. Dickian style of psychological and supernatural elements.

Satisfied with this story, I added it to the pile, parked my ass in front of the TV to watch the antenna TV comedy hour and behold, a Simpsons episode had a segment called, "Vultures Nest," complete with Mr. Burns as the top billionaire.

My old writing friend told me that all stories have already been written and that we could only expand on those frameworks. I'm a junior high dropout and he went to writing college so I'll take his word for it, disheartening as it is.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Simpsons writers have already done that." (Original post)
nilesobek Apr 2020 OP
N_E_1 for Tennis Apr 2020 #1
mercuryblues Apr 2020 #2
nilesobek Apr 2020 #3
mercuryblues Apr 2020 #5
PJMcK Apr 2020 #4
nilesobek Apr 2020 #7
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2020 #9
PJMcK Apr 2020 #11
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2020 #12
TreasonousBastard Apr 2020 #6
nilesobek Apr 2020 #8
SheltieLover Apr 2020 #10
nilesobek Apr 2020 #13
SheltieLover Apr 2020 #14
mopinko May 2020 #15

Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:31 AM

1. Every song...

Has been sung...every book written...every invention a rehash of an idea...
Yet...new songs are on the charts...new books adorn a novel design of shelf...the dictionary adds words each year...donít be disheartened...a change of perspective can hit the prism in a slightly different way...then...your decision...

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Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:33 AM

2. I would say all themes and plots have been done

The variables are the characters their reactions and twists.

Take Anne Rice and Steven King. There have been 100,000's of books written about vampires, but what was different about theirs that made them famous authors?

Even King's book, Carrie, wasn't a new concept, teen angst and bullying and revenge. Yet it was a best seller and made into a movie.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:39 AM

3. I wrote a vampire story too called, Cyrus of Cydonia," (a master vampire from Mars).

Surprisingly, that story got me a cash offer from a writing agent. I never took that story seriously but it taught me one thing: the horror genre is always popular.

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Response to nilesobek (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:45 AM

5. So you know it can be done

keep tapping away.

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Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:45 AM

4. Don't feel blue

There are only seven basic plots that all stories follow. They are:

1. Overcoming the Monster
2. Rags to Riches
3. The Quest
4. Voyage and Return
5. Comedy
6. Tragedy
7. Rebirth

Sometimes a story will contain more than one of these.

Here's more detail:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots

It's the expression of these ideas that make stories unique. Keep writing! I'm sure your story is captivating!

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 08:15 AM

7. The story by Homer, The Iliad seems to combine all those ingredients.

The long trip home to his wife with uncertain outcome.

I forgot about rebirth, a powerful human theme in religion and ceremony. That feeling of being reborn must be exhilarating.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 09:35 AM

9. At the risk of being nit-picky,

comedy, rebirth, and tragedy are not plots. They are types of story telling.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:18 PM

11. Fair enough

Still, I'd suggest you peruse the Wikipedia article I linked. The point is that there are fundamentally 7 stories. Feel free to pick nits!

Stay safe, PO!

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 08:46 PM

12. Over the years I've seen various numbers as to how many stories there are.

And even though the Wiki article calls comedy, tragedy, and rebirth, plots, they are still not plots. It's a carelessly written article.


(Says the occasional writer who cannot plot to save her life.)

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Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 07:50 AM

6. You may have heard that there are only 6 basic plots in fiction, although that number changes...

But, it could even be argued that Sherlock Holmes only had only one plot to all of his adventures. And Miss Marple and Poirot the same.

OTOH, there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, and look how many books we've made of them.

Pianists have it easier with 88 keys, and how many different tunes have been made from those notes...

Don't worry about "who did it first" because somebody did. Best you should worry about who does it best.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 08:31 AM

8. I downloaded a piano player program

to try and learn some classics. I'm lousy and turn the speed all the way down with numerous mistakes.

I'll just give up then watch child prodigies in China on YouTube killing it at only five years old.

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Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Tue Apr 7, 2020, 04:09 PM

10. But it's your voice that matters!

And your characters, their quirks and how they interact and evolve.

I encourage you to write it anyway, despite the Simpsons. Who knows where the process will take you?

I've studied a good bit of art therapy, including writing endeavors. Many experts in the field believe that all art forms are sort of autonomous entities wanting to create through us. Think of the shamanic conpcept of the hollow bone theory.

Perhaps the story needs to be retold, restoried. 😊👍

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 08:41 AM

13. Its nothing like the Simpsons episode.

The story is complete it's just that I was thinking I was alone in ripping this from popular culture. How naive.

I fear success much more than continual failure so this fits right into my persona.

That's why I've never submitted anything yet.

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Response to nilesobek (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 8, 2020, 08:54 AM

14. Why not electronically self-publish?

I'll bet lots of folks are reading quite a bit more since being home. I'm pretty sure Amazon makes it really easy to do. They even have artists who will whip up cover art for starting somewhere around $5. I've never done it, but several friends have with amazing success.

They have cautioned to have several people read & suggest edits. Omitting this step, they say, is one of the biggest mistakes authors make because readers will be quickly turned off if there are typos, incorrect word usage, or grammatical errors.

The other suggestion is to have 2-3 more books ready to publish before e-publishing the 1st one because if readers find resonance with your work, they will rip through the first book & buy another. If a 2nd ism't already on the market, they lose interest & look elsewhere.

I hope this is helpful in some way. 😚

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Response to nilesobek (Original post)

Sat May 9, 2020, 08:52 PM

15. well, so what

as others have pointed out, all the stories have been told over and over.

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