Musings on Ideas

Can ideas be stolen? I’m not so sure. In a way, ideas are a little like pixies. They come and go as they please, and they show themselves to people in different ways. Two people can get the same or a similar idea, but if that idea is implemented and expanded upon, it will end up looking very different, and that well-developed idea is what could possibly be plagiarized.

Even so, I don’t believe in sharing the idea for your story when you’ve just come up with it. It’s so exciting to finally get a new idea for a plot or character that you can’t wait to share it with people, but sometimes it’s better to let an idea marinate for a while.

Why is it best to let ideas sit?

  • They may not really work, especially if your idea comes from a dream. It might sound epic and flawless when you first wake up, but when it meets the light of day, you’ll start to see the holes.
  • You might come up with a better or more well-developed idea after thinking about it for a while.
  • Now might not be the best time to work on the idea. Ideas like to show up when you’re not poised to work on them, like when you’re in the middle of a totally different story. In that case, it’s best to write them down and come back to them later.
  • If you share your idea immediately, it may become less exciting. Also, if you share your idea with others, they may hold you accountable for producing something based on it. “Hey, didn’t you have that awesome idea for a book about time-traveling vampires and werewolves? Have you written anything yet?”

Ideas are a dime a dozen. If you forget one or lose it somewhere or if it suddenly departs without a trace, you can rest assured that there are many more. But not necessarily where the old one came from.

4 thoughts on “Musings on Ideas

  1. I definitely agree! I try to write down everything that sounds good in my journal, but most of those ideas never go anywhere from there. They need to marinate for awhile before I can tell if they’re any good!

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  2. I usually keep quiet about my ideas (I was about to say “always,” but then I remembered that I’ve been blogging about writing a murder mystery set in a nursing home 🙂 ), but in reality the idea is the smallest part of a story.

    Ideas are indeed a dime a dozen — it’s the 99% perspiration that makes the 1% inspiration pay off.

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    1. Yes — and so many people sit around waiting for more and more ideas when they really should just play with the ones they have. Ideas beget ideas.

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