Concept.

Mar. 16th, 2009 12:47 pm
coniferous_you: (Rainy Day.)
[personal profile] coniferous_you
  Someone told me their "idea" for a story today and I didn't mock them, even though it was fairly generic and open-ended. They asked me what I thought. I responded with, "there's nothing I can say. Write the story and I'll tell you."

    This idea of concept first, EVERYTHING ELSE second is an interesting thing to me. I've taken quite a few writing classes and know many writers and a lot of times we talk about process. There are many cases where I will be sitting in some pretensious upscale lounge with my writerly friends and they'll start talking about "this great concept they've been working on." I always freeze at that, and have nothing to say. I'll admit that I get a little bit suspicious at people who have concepts first. I am suspicious that it's really just procrastination and it's easy to just sit around and say "what if?" if there's no story that you have to feel guilty about not writing.

    Of course, it could be because my concepts are about as simple as primary colours. What long-type stories have I worked on? What were the concepts? "Bullied girl tries to assert her position on the high-school scale by destroying the life of mysterious new kid before she becomes too popular." And the one I'm working on now, "friend comes back after two years, wants free place to stay." And I got like 100,000 words out of "girl wants to fix bridge."

      Do any of you feel that people who develop concepts before writing are just masters of not writing? Do you, like me, believe that the "concept that sounds like a pitch for a television show" part actually comes at the end? Do you prefer simplistic concepts? Do you get agitated when someone windbags over his or her "brilliant new concept"? Do you want to scream "IT'S ABOUT THE STORY, NOT THE CONCEPT, YOU GASBAG!"


     ERSATZ WRITING. I HATE IT.
     - L.

  

    



Date: 2009-03-16 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rotem.livejournal.com
Well, I think that starting from a concept is good.
"Working on a concept" sounds dodgy to me.
Cos you either have the concept, or you don't.
The concept is the SEED. You come up with it, and when you start working on it, then it's the STORY.

Date: 2009-03-16 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serendipitygirl.livejournal.com
Some people are all concept, no execution. They deserve contempt I think (speaking both as someone who's finished work, and one very very VERY prone to "high concepts".)

Date: 2009-03-17 04:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-05-10 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] two-grey-rooms.livejournal.com
At the risk of sounding terribly creepy, hullo, I can't even remember how I stumbled across your journal, but I would like to input a HELLS YEAH. Just Write the Damn Thing is my general response to people who yammer on about concepts (and it's something I occasionally have to kick myself in the ass to remember too). ALSO, I think your journal calls for a friending. :D?

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