Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 68 - Trying to Buy the Wind

Working as a freelance writer, the first thing that struck me was the high importance non-writers placed on ideas - coupled with the low value that they placed on writing skill.

"I have a fantastic idea!" a prospective client might say. "It's a novel about... well, I can't go into that right now, it's a secret and if I tell you, you might steal it. But I'll give you $200 to write my novel, which will then go on to be published and make millions."

And this distribution of funds seemed perfectly fair to them, because it was their idea. They owned it. The countless hours of writing and editing - well, that's easy when you have a concept!

The principle that ideas are precious items that need to be guarded I find ridiculous. What I find pathetic is the people who wander around, saying "I had that idea first. I came up with the idea of an orphan going to wizard school. I'm going to sue!"

There is no new idea. There are only different ways of retelling the same old stories, using different characters and settings. Yes, you had a good idea. But did you use it? Whinging about how JK Rowling stole your fortune by writing her own book before you wrote yours (the cow!) might get you a couple of drinks at the pub, but wouldn't you have been better off actually writing your book?

I stole participated in the free exchange of ideas culture and acquired this from The Rejectionist's blog:

Word count - 3,624

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