marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

mix-and-match inspiration

Reading's a good thing for a writer.  Reading lots and lots of stuff, a wide variety of stuff. . . .

One thing it really helps with is filing off the serial numbers.  (Which I pontificated about here but I didn't touch on this.)

Ripping off one story is uncreative.  Ripping off two -- or a dozen, as wildly different as possible -- is creative.  If Jack, from this story, had Stephan's background from that story -- it would shift his character a little, but still keep what interested you.  And if you rip off this monster from a third story and give it a new paint job, and this magic from a fourth, with a few alterations -- why, you have a strikingly original story.

In fact, if you read widely it probably happens unconsciously.  Reading the stuff puts it in your head, and you will find that something's running a dating service for all those ideas.

Tags: idea development, inspiration, reading, writing technique

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