Archive for August 8th, 2011

Why Not To Help

I learned my lesson this weekend, and I learned it hard.  I was helping my wonderful wife work on the plot for her new book when, in a series of random statements, I brought together the monster for the book.  And let me tell you, it is the ultimate monster for a time travel book.  From what we were able to tell doing some online research, it’s also a fairly unique idea (I’m never for a second pretend there are any truly unique ideas anymore, at least ones worth actually using).

So what did I ultimately do?

I, the horror writer, created the best monster I’ve ever created…and gave it to someone else.

This.  This is why you should never help anyone, or ever agree to participate in brain storming or plot noodling sessions.

Alright, no, I don’t really mean that.  But it’s one of those odd dangers that comes with participating in any kind of brainstorming session with other writers.  Sometimes you’ll end up letting a good idea go, and sometimes a great idea will flow back to you.  Some of the best elements that I’ve put into stories were ones that my wife gave me, ideas I would have never had on my own.  It can bring out new ways of connecting ideas together, new approaches to ideas.  As writers we’ve always got to be open to other approaches, which means understanding that we’ll occasionally give up a beautiful idea.

Yeah, that’s stuff that really shouldn’t even need to be said.  Help.  Accept help.  Oddly, it does.  But this post also serves a more sinister purpose.  It’s going to be step one towards me guilting the hell out of her if she takes this awesome idea but never finishes the book.

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