I have so many ideas. Too many ideas running around, they’re driving me insane. But I realized last night that if I had too many ideas, it only meant one thing.
I am a dreadful copycat.
Here’s what I mean: I have some really good ideas running around, some of them fanfiction and others genuine. However, in some way all of those short story and novel ideas that come to my mind are rip offs of other writers, which I lack the permission to write about.
It started when I got obsessed with Harry Potter. I wanted to capture the magical world in a college setting, but then realized it sounded too much like J.K. Rowling and not my own work. So obviously, that was never going to work. I was 14 years old, anyway.
Another story I had in mind was taking fairy tales and famous book characters and putting them in different scenarios. What would Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream be like in Manhattan? (The Midsummer Clause) Others included a twisted version of Sleeping Beauty, a story about a normal girl who ends up transferring schools when she inherits her powers from her superhero parents, and the big one- Jane Austen characters clashing together in a neo Victorian setting (Prisoner of Austen). There are more than a dozen of these ideas.
The Sleeping Beauty idea turned out to sound too much like Disney, particularly Enchanted, whereas I wanted to take the main heroine/victim and make her break the prince’s spell in a contemporary setting. The girl with the superhero parents: another rip off of a Disney film, Sky High, but just with tinier changes. And Prisoner of Austen? I wanted to devote a long, three part story but I worried I’d get in the way of Austen purists and using any of those similar names, no matter how much they are public domain now (since Austen has been dead for centuries).
The one thing that worries me is getting permission. If I wrote a story right now, a story that marked something that happened, real or imagined, with someone or something still being talked about, I would never be able to publish it off the bat. I did write a story within the last week and I planned to publish it here on WordPress until my conscience got the better of me.
And the story was based on the creators of one of my favorite fandoms/ television series.
Therefore, if I planned to publish it right here, I would need to get permission from those people, who are still living by the way, and there’s no way in hell I’d get their permission because of two things: 1) I’m American, and 2) I have no friends who know those people personally, due to the fact that I’ve never been to England, where said people I wrote about are residing.
The point is, to make it in this world, you need to know people. You have to network and network with people who are higher up in your field of choice. My major at college was journalism with a minor in creative writing, so when I tried tackling journalism I found that to get into papers or magazines you had to know subjects and editors.
How do you think Cameron Crowe got into screenwriting and directing movies? His movie Almost Famous best describes what his life was like before he became a filmmaker. He wrote for Rolling Stone magazine, a magazine I coveted for years and always wanted to write for, all because he got into a concert somehow to interview the bands.
And with a little luck, he got to ride in buses with bands, groupies and famous people to write about them, and he was only 15.
Writers start early. I started in my early days of high school when I felt most emotional, brought on by bullying, academic pressure and pressure at home. Right now as I’m looking back at everything I’ve written, I’ve realized I have the mechanics and the right punctuation in writing any kind of story, but I’m imagination deficient because I watch too many movies and television.
If I think of something, it’s almost always been done before. And when I do formulate a story for something, I use most of my life experiences to tell a story, like the fiction story is in actuality a memoir.
Last year, my dream of being a music journalist was pronounced dead on arrival, same with being any type of journalist. As far as writing fiction is concerned, there’s nothing I can do to save it from dying now.
Writers I’ve met at science fiction conventions and college classes have always told me to write about things you’re passionate about. Write something you love to write. Still, no matter what you write, and no matter how hard you avoid plagiarism, you could get into trouble.
That being said, I am taking down the sidebars with my short story and novel excerpts. This is only temporary, until I find something 100 percent original and genuine to think of writing. But if I don’t, I’m afraid that this might be the end of this blog.
I only have a very teeny tiny smidge of hope left in me. I almost feel convinced that I have no future since the best things I’m good at are checking spelling errors, and using the scanner/copy machine to file things. I’m passionate about being a fan; I can’t find a way to be passionate about something I made up myself based on something other than media that I’ve fallen in love with.
Still, if I don’t write, I’m scared something will happen… maybe 30 or 40 years later, we will have some robots telling stories.
(Voice of Robbie the Robot from Lost in Space): “ONCE. UPON. A. TIME… THERE. WAS. A. HORSE…”
(Electric buzzing, monotone voice): “Goodnight… moon… good… night… mush…”
Well, we’ve got the Internet, iPads, Kindles, smartphones and other chirping electric devices that are making everyone stupid instead of being teaching aides. Even books in schools are being replaced with tablets and no one is allowed to learn cursive in school anymore. Frankly, I can’t get enough of handwritten things, hence why I still own paper journals.
But really, people, it’s starting to feel that way. My ex boyfriend may be right. Writers will soon be a thing of the past, for becoming a successful one is about as hard as winning on American Idol or Iron Chef and actually having a great career like so many celebrities.
As Fagan would say in the musical Oliver, I’m reviewing the situation. My situation currently looks bleak because now I have no idea what I want to do for my career.
You want to know the worst part? I’m not the only one.