Friday, August 28, 2009

I’m waiting for my check

Let's try something. I'll describe a story, and you tell me if you can craft a best seller.

There's this ring, and it's really powerful. So powerful that it can make you invisible and take over your mind if you're not careful. So this hobbit—hobbits are like a short people with hairy feet—gets the ring from his uncle.

Then a wizard tells him they are in danger and Middle Earth will be destroyed if Sauron, the evil lord of Mordor gets the ring back. The hobbit is kind of weak, so he has some friends to help him on his quest. There's the true king, an elf, a dwarf, maybe a few more hobbits…I think I'm going to have a tree guardian…maybe I'll call it a tree herder.

Anyway, Freddie (I may change that. Freddie seems a little too 'Hardy Boys', if you know what I mean.) and Steve (may change that, too) go on this long journey, and finally get to a giant crater in the earth, left by a meteor. (The ring is made from meteor-ore and meteors are the only magic strong enough to destroy the ring.) Freddie struggles, but is finally able to overcome his desire to keep the ring and they destroy Sauron and the new king is crowned.

It's a great idea, right? It could become the next big thing- the basis for a whole new genre...

But could you develop the idea as beautifully as Tolkien did?

I've described my idea to lots of people, and since I've spent some time working on my query letters, I can give a decent synopsis. But I still have this niggle in my brain that makes me want to say, "It's better on paper."

Try describing a #1 song to someone. Knock out the melody on the piano for them. They say, "Oh, that's neat that you write music. I'm kindof working on a song right now, too.

It's not enough to have an idea- you have to have a seasoned, sweated over manuscript. You must polish your story until it reflects the red veins in your bloodshot-computer-screen-weary-eyes.

When I first considered joining an online writer's group, some friends were concerned that my ideas would be stolen. That someone would make millions off my brilliantly amazing ideas, if I may be so modest.

But all the plagiarism I've heard about is pretty doubtful. I've read one comment on a blog where a lady that sniffed that she'd finished her novel about a boy in wizard school a month before the first Harry Potter came out. And Stephenie Meyer was sued over some resemblances, but I wonder that the attorney would even bother. (Nevermind that last comment. Of course they would bother.)

It's all about the execution. And execution is hard. Just as hard as bringing the characters to life. (get it?)

But some people are confused about how much work it is to write it, and write it well. So I'm going to copyright some ideas, and whenever anyone uses my little gems, they have to go through me. Coming up with the ideas is the fun part, anyway. Actually writing it…ughh.

1. Magic. This is my idea, and if you want to use it, you'd better take out your pocket book.

2. Vampires. Duh.

3. Thwarted love. I believe in reincarnation as of this minute, and I invented this storyline in a previous life.

4.Fear of your dead spouse not really being dead and you move on and then it turns out they've been trapped on an island for years, dreaming of you. (Tom Hanks, I'm waiting for you to return my calls. Though, to be honest, this one's my husband Nathan's brainchild)

5. I may add some more. I come up with stuff all of the time. Check back later.

I should be rolling in the dough in no time. And it's virtually pain-free!

What am I missing? Did you ever have an idea and somebody beat you to it?

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