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Blaugust 26: Misusing Writing Prompts


Fiction Prompt (from Poets & Writers)
You know that weird notion that sometimes surfaces when you meet new people–that feeling that you already know them, but can’t remember why or how? Write a scene for a story about two people who both experience the same déjà vu upon meeting, with a plot driven by their need to figure out how they know each other. Use this opportunity to add an element of magical realism to your story. Perhaps they were married in a past life, or maybe they met in a dream. Once they solve the puzzle, how does this impact their lives going forward? Do they even believe the answer, or do they agree it’s too far-fetched?

This reminds me of a story I wanted to write. A story about love and dreams and reality. I was going to have the main couple meet in a dream–except, instead of A dream, they would keep meeting in dreams, and the dreams would vary a lot as dreams do. I was going to have them be birds one time.

Fairly recently I read a summary of a new book that had a much too similar premise to this. Of course what I thought was, I waited to long and now it’s too late. Someone else did it, so I shouldn’t even bother.

Now, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know the details of the plot. And it’s safe to say that this book is not exactly the same as the book I would write. It does seem close enough, though, that it makes me wonder. Because, see, I would much prefer to put writing out there that is unique. I dread the idea of someone reading a book I wrote and thinking, “I could have written that.” I don’t see the point in writing if I’m only doing what has already been done.

Maybe it’s not possible to do something as different as that without becoming China Mieville. The details of his worlds are quite fascinating… but the next person to write like him is just going to be seen as “copying.” Because when you’re THAT different, no one else can just happen to go there.

 

(Please don’t ask me what the gif has to do with the post… because the answer is nothing.)

 

 

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