If you got idea(s) that you think no one ever make it, do you share it to details? to your friends? to your family? to forum community?
If to forum community.. how much do you share?
err and one more question.. can I put my short stories in this forum?
August 13th, 2007, 12:24 PM
I think that people who don't share their story ideas because they're afraid of somebody stealing it are pretty dim. Writing is hard work, and unless you're already a published author with a strong fanbase, you just don't need to worry about anybody stealing your ideas. Even if somebody did steal your idea, it's not going to be the same book, and they're still going to have to go through the same process anyone else does to get it published -- which means it probably won't be. Published authors aren't going to steal your ideas, because it would ruin their reputation if they did, and the fact that they're published hopefully means that they've got a certain level of professionalism that keeps them away from stealing the ideas of young hopeful's.
That said, I don't talk about my story ideas much at all to anyone, save my girlfriend, and even to her very little. Writers hopefully are storytellers. You just don't keep the same kind of juice going for your story if you're constantly telling it via word-of-mouth. Plus people can be jackasses, and oftentimes people will judge your ideas as good or bad purely on the merits of what you can tell them within a few seconds. And that can be very discouraging. The best that can come out of telling somebody who can't help you get published is they'll sing your praises, which unless you're really of such low self-esteem that you require constant pats on the head to keep your confidence going, is only worth so much. But at worse, people can trash your idea, make you feel worse for it, and even if they don't, you might wind up telling the story verbally so much that you no longer feel the need to put pen-to-paper. Which is fine if you don't care about getting published. It's a death sentence if you do.
August 13th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Why wouldn't you share your ideas? Every writer would tell the same idea differently. We all have our own style and approach to storytelling.
The only way someone can really rip off a writer is to copy their text exactly; i.e.- to plagiarize.
And the only reason one writer would want to plagiarize a fellow writer is if they believe the other one is a stronger, better writer. So it's rather flattering, if it happens. :D It's also very uncommon. Published authors might get plagiarized, but unpublished? Not likely.
August 13th, 2007, 08:59 PM
The common refrain is "Ideas are cheap." It's understandable for a newbie to be paranoid about people stealing his ideas, but it's really unnecessary. As Shane and Abby have already noted, it's the execution that matters.
As for posting your shorts to the site, by all means, do so. I imagine you'd benefit quite a bit from the critiques you'd get here. Share as much as you're comfortable sharing.
Me, personally, I don't talk about my story ideas with too many people, but it has nothing to do with me being secretive. Most people simply wouldn't be interested, I reckon.
August 13th, 2007, 10:06 PM
You can post stories in the community section. Click the "Stories" button above and follow the instructions. If you want to ask people to critique your story, cut and paste the address of the story into a thread you start with a title something like "Your story title here: Critique"
For my part I don't put stories in the stories section if I think I might be able to get it published.
Sharing ideas, though, might be good practice. If you can explain your story in a few sentences and get a good reaction, you've done a good job. -(-Remember the movie "Alive"? There was no way to describe that movie in short terms without someone saying "Yuck! I never want to see that!") Just a thought.
August 14th, 2007, 07:28 PM
I don't share my ideas publicly online, especially short stories. I have a small group of readers and writers I share with in a private online setting. I will also share them with the crit group I am forming locally. It is a business decision for me. I only submit work to professionally paid venues, and for fantasy which most of my work is there are relatively few of them, SFWA just updated their list and if you take out the anthology publishers I am looking at about six places I can submit to. With rules against multiple submissions, simultaneous submissions, and disqualifications for having any part of your submitted work publicly published online then add an average of three to four months between the time you submit and rejection/acceptance letter I am not about to screw myself by putting anything about it online for the sake of winning a few oohs and ahs.
For those who don't know how hard it is to get your work out there to publishers while obeying all their rules let me give you an example. The first scifi/fantasy story I ever thought was good enough to send out for professional consideration was written in in mid 2005. (two separate workshop editors, pros in the business, said it was a good story and mechanically perfect) It has been in constant circulation since 6/05 and I just got rejection number six on it. The first two places I sent it to aren't even publishing anymore. In another eight to twelve months if I haven't sold it, I will be able to retire it and put one of the fifty two shorts I currently have in the queue into its place.
August 14th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Yup, it's very hard to get published.
I'll second what BradHart said; I don't post my stories online. I'd rather see them published in a pro magazine.
But this is a career decision and certainly not for everyone. If you're not aiming for pro publication at this time, then you might as well post your work online. :)
August 14th, 2007, 08:33 PM
It should be noted though that publishing your work online can sometimes sell a novel. I forget the name, but I've heard of at least one author who published his entire book online and still managed to get it published (without self publishing), and the whole reason Scott Lynch got The Lies of Locke Lamora published was because he published small excerpts of his work on his blog for people to see; an editor saw it, asked for some more, and published him on the spot.
Obviously these sort of success stories aren't common, but you shouldn't get it stuck in your head that if you post a couple pages of your manuscript online you're dooming the whole project. It's not just for hobby writers. Professional writers can get away with it too.
August 18th, 2007, 02:02 PM
I like to share my short stories in my website (www.monkeypro.net/rosedragon) and forums I joined, so I want to that in here too. Short stories are just fun works for me, only writting ideas that pop out to my head, I don't bother of making any plot, characteristics, etc. While in novel work, since it took time, headaches, researches, also I wish it to be published, I'm only giving out excerpts.
What I view as idea are the full ones, from beginning to ending of the story, how the plot, what theme to be used, etc.. Like saying: the story is about a person who ... bla bla bla.. until he ended in suicide. This story would take place in .... timeline .... and talking about ... conflicts. Also I'm thinking of doing .... researches and steps.
August 18th, 2007, 03:51 PM
The exception, Abby, might be really "high concept" ideas where the idea is important to the marketing.
The danger is in inspiring somebody who can bring the thing in before you do. And you end up being the "knock off"
This is more common in film than novels, but it's there.
I recently ran into trouble with a script I wrote about a mudwrestler who gets into Mexican wrestling and ends up becoming a champion of street kids...with a little help from the Virgin.
It won some contests with it, but the first four agents/prodcos I ran it by said the same thing.... a Jack Black movie about Mexican wrestling is about be be released, so we're not interested.
Of course, that's stupid. There is no relationship between the two other than the setting. And we often see similar films sharing the market (The two Wyatt Earp moves with Costner and Kilmer, the two magic trick movies a few months ago)
But...it's a reality.
Now try to imagine if you were trying to sell a script about "A lawyer is suddenly unable to lie" when they've already seen one greenlighted.