The process begins.
You’ve invented this incredible story idea and you decide that you must write it.
Maybe it’s about a past experience that you need to share, or a really good idea that is an accumulation of many people’s life experiences. It could be a complete piece of fiction which originated from a childhood fear or the culmination of multiple fears. Your story could be a plot derived from a book you read or a movie you saw and thought, “I could have done that so much better, I would do it this way…”
Regardless of however the story comes into being, you know it’s a good story and the passion to create it begins to build.
In your mind these people come to life. The landscape begins to form, the plot thickens and evolves into something rich and engaging. You can see the entire sketch of this new reality from beginning to end. You know these characters and the occurrences inside and out. The characters become real, you know everything about them; how they look, how they react, how they think.
The story, inside your head, has already happened. Now you just need to walk the reader through the events one page at a time and acquaint the observer with the tale, carrying them clear through to the blissful ending.
The process continues and you begin to write.
Maybe it happens slowly at first, until you begin to fall in love with one or more of the main characters, then the story unfolds like water pouring from a bucket and at times it happens so fast that it’s hard to keep up with pounding it out on the keyboard fast enough before you lose your train of thought. Or maybe it’s a fight to find the next step in the plot, or even the next line in the paragraph but it becomes a labor of love which forces the need to finish telling this tale. Either way you are now committed to immortalizing this story.
The creative process is a strange a mysterious place, but oh so wonderful when you become struck by its power.
Then just as you get into the swing or even halfway through the process of crafting out this masterpiece, you discover that something similar already exists. A movie that is being released next month, a new book being promoted by a popular writer or a friend tells you about story written many decades ago and your heart sinks in your chest because it’s ‘your’ original idea.
Someone at some point imagined the same story and beat you to the punch line by telling it first to the vast public ear. This is where a lot of would be very good writers will succumb to the self-doubting process that all creative minded people share. They allow themselves to stumble and fall and let their story die without so much as a brief glimmer of existence because someone else also thought it was such a good idea they were compelled to tell a similar story.
You cannot give up. Know that this is just a hurdle in being a writer.
This is the point where you must forge forward despite the fact that someone else is doing it or has done it. Even if your story line has ‘similar’ features, even though there are a couple of coincidental occurrences, you must remind your inner doubt that your story is still just as unique and individual as you are.
The story of “Romeo and Juliet” has been told thousands, if not tens of thousands, of times throughout literary history. “Beauty and the Beast” has been resurrected in a magnitude of different genres with many different equations mixed into it. The eternal battle between good and evil, the dark and the light, will be retold countless times before and even long after you’re no longer alive to tell your version of the war.
What you need to remember is that you are writing your story. Inside your mind these people, this place, these trials happen from your point of view and no one on the planet can tell it from that vantage better than you can.
As your story continues to progress changes will occur, growth in an unforeseen direction will present itself and your story will come to life in a completely different light. Even during the editing process the storyline changes and plots twist in new ways that you can’t possibly conceive of at the moment of conception or during the rapture of creation.
The source for your inspiration lives only inside you.
Whatever you decide, don’t stop writing. Finish it, read it through and only then should you decide if you want to or need to change anything.
Never stop moving forward in your journey simply because someone else has walked the path before you.
Good luck and keep writing.
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S.J.Johnson.Author @ Facebook