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Total posts: [66]
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"Stories We've Seen Too Often": How many of these have you written?:

 1 feotakahari, Thu, 8th Dec '11 10:41:37 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Discovered on the Strange Horizons website:

How many of these plots have you written? I've done:

11. Scientist uses himself or herself as test subject.

15. Story is based in whole or part on a D&D game or world.

20. Person A tells a story to person B (or to a room full of people) about person C.

b. In the end, it turns out that person A is really person C.

30. Brutal violence against women is depicted in loving detail, often in a story that's ostensibly about violence against women being bad.

For what it's worth, 11 is the only one I don't have an excuse for (and it's a good thing I have those excuses, because 15 and 20b apply to the story I was intending to submit to them.)

edited 8th Dec '11 10:43:25 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 2 nrjxll, Thu, 8th Dec '11 10:45:46 PM Relationship Status: Not war
While I dislike quite a few of those "stories" (I wouldn't actually use the term stories for all of those, really), it's not because they're overused. Originality tends to be overrated, I think.

Getting things done
[up] Hallelujah.
Stay awesome, people.
 4 Oh So Into Cats, Thu, 8th Dec '11 10:54:43 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
13. In the future, criminals are punished much more harshly than they are today.

28. Strange and mysterious things keep happening. And keep happening. And keep happening. For over half the story. Relentlessly. Without even a hint of explanation.

  1. 13 for only a certain value of harsh.

  2. 28... yeah, that's pretty much the only plot I've written.

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
Rabid Fujoshi
While I dislike quite a few of those "stories" (I wouldn't actually use the term stories for all of those, really), it's not because they're overused. Originality tends to be overrated, I think.

Agree with you there. It's less about content and more about presentation of that content. In other words, characterization.
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
We're Having All The Fun
Originality tends to be overrated, I think.

Ah, man. What're you talking about? Not even genre fiction will succeed unless there is something new and interesting about it. Look at the Post-Punk movement in music, that was all experimental and exciting. Sometimes original stuff works and sometimes it doesn't, but I don't think you can just dismiss it as overrated. The Stranglers, Gospel According To The Meninblack? Genius. Suda51? Most brilliant mind in modern gaming. Stephenson, Snow Crash? Explored the effect of the internet on society before the internet had had an effect.

All these wonderful works are wonderful in part due to their ballsy willingness to experiment. Were it up to you, every film would be fuckin' Transformers and every musician would be The Beatles. (As opposed to just Oasis being The Beatles.)

edited 8th Dec '11 11:03:43 PM by YeahBro

All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
Element of love
[up]There is nothing new under the sun.

"new" is just old things mixed in "new" different ways.

Read my guide on originality to learn more : Be Original

edited 8th Dec '11 11:26:03 PM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
We're Having All The Fun
[up] It is arbitrary classification like that that results in dull genre fiction, action blockbusters and pop-music. Think about electronic music and synths, that was revolutionary. You had people like Bowie, Kraftwork and Numan coming up with new sounds. I have over two months worth of music, no artist among them sounds like any other. They innovate, they explore, they imagine. They don't just say "I'll have some New Order, a dash of Wham and the vocals of Billy Corgan. That'll be perfect for my debut album." (Obviously that is talking about mimicry, not actually taking all of that and putting it in a single song, because that's what Fat Boy Slim does and he still manages to create something new)

The thing is, art cannot be broken down into base elements without losing something. You can't deconstruct every song into parts and see a direct line of inheritance just like how you can break a book down into base elements and say that they belong to the ones that came before.

Newton said he only got where he did because he stood on the shoulders of giants, he still had to elevate himself further through his own thought and creativity.
All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
 9 nrjxll, Thu, 8th Dec '11 11:52:06 PM Relationship Status: Not war
You're looking at it the wrong way. I don't know anything about music, but in literature, the elements really have all been used before - what matters is how you put them together. When I say that originality is overrated, it's not an attack on trying to be original as such - it means that too many people focus on trying to do something new rather then on what really matters for a story: characters and characterization.

We're Having All The Fun
in literature, the elements really have all been used before

How do you know? If it has not been done before, you would not know about it. There was a bloke (Don't know his name, just heard about him on XFM) back in the 1900's who said "everything that can be invented has been invented". Planes, Computers, Penicillin, the CD, the walkman, everything. There was a whole world of things left to be made and they each had a profound cultural impact that was unforeseeable before they were made. As society changes, the stories that are told change. They gain new themes because there is now precedent to explore them. (Neuromancer and transhumanism come to mind). Just because you are unable to come up with something that changes the paradigm does not mean that it is not possible.

[down] Most of the stuff they listed was clichéd junk. So it was a fairly good guide of what they don't want people to send in.

edited 9th Dec '11 12:15:42 AM by YeahBro

All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
 11 Schitzo, Fri, 9th Dec '11 12:13:25 AM from Akumajou Dracula Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
HIGH IMPACT SEXUAL VIOLENCE
That list sounds incredibly stupid.
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.
7.c. Protagonist is portrayed as really awful, but that portrayal is merely a setup for the ending, in which they see the error of their ways and are redeemed. (But reading about the awfulness is so awful that we never get to the end to see the redemption.)

28. Strange and mysterious things keep happening. And keep happening. And keep happening. For over half the story. Relentlessly. Without even a hint of explanation.

29. Author showcases their premise of what the afterlife is like; there's little or no story, other than demonstrating that premise. b.The afterlife is really monotonous and dull.

:X
 
 13 Gault, Fri, 9th Dec '11 1:33:05 AM from near a disputed border
When history changes...
I have not seen many of these supposedly over-common things in fiction appear in things I've read. It could just be for the fact that I don't read nearly as much as I should, though.
un monde libéré de la guerre est un monde exempt de frontières
We're Having All The Fun
I have not seen many of these supposedly over-common things in fiction appear in things I've read. It could just be for the fact that I don't read nearly as much as I should, though.

You probably do not read much poor quality self-published fiction/rejected from magazine publication fiction.
All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
There is no such thing as "stories we've seen too often."

There's just "story approaches we've seen too often."
 
 16 nrjxll, Fri, 9th Dec '11 2:46:47 AM Relationship Status: Not war
[up][up]That was my impression as well.

As society changes, the stories that are told change.

That really seems to support my point. You're not making things up out of thin air, you're getting them from society. It might be the first time those particular themes have appeared in fiction, but they would already have been out there in the collective zeitgeist even if no one's done anything with them yet.

Again, I'm not saying it's bad to be creative. But there is a mentality I frequently see here and on other writing sites that suggests that all you need to do to make a good work is be original, and anything that can be considered derivative is bad. This is not a good mindset to have.

We're Having All The Fun
Originality (A story to tell/theme to explore) and writing talent are both required. Most aspiring writers have neither. Sure you derive things from society, but how is that not original? If it has never been done in fiction, then you are introducing something. That's originality.
All I do, is sit down at the computer, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick.
 18 Yej, Fri, 9th Dec '11 4:15:52 AM from <0,1i>
See ALL the stars!
Zero, which is quite surprising. tongue
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 19 fanty, Fri, 9th Dec '11 4:30:43 AM from ANGRYTOWN
Woefully Ineloquent
@nrjxll: Ponting out the fact that originality is not the MOST important thing in the story every once in a while is good, but once people start repeating it over and over, like some do, you soon start coming to the conclusion that the only reason why they are doing it is because they can't come up with anything original, and so constantly need to remind that to themselves as an excuse.

I personally would read a story about a guy tying his shoes, as long as characterisation was interesting enough, but sometimes, you just feel like reading something full of fresh ideas, and writers definitely shouldn't stop writing such stories under fatalistic notion that it's "impossible" to come up with anything new.

As for the plots linked, I haven't written any of them. Everything I wrote as a teenager was too weird and murky to even describe, and nowadays I tend to create semi-original settings and write ridiculously character driven stories set in them.
Individual liberation is an illusion.
 20 Crystal Glacia, Fri, 9th Dec '11 4:31:03 AM from Cedarpointland
Happiness
I've used a good chunk of the list, but never as the sole premise.
Getting things done
Huh, it's odd that none of those apply to any of the elements of my story. I'm not sure what to make of it.
Stay awesome, people.
 22 chihuahua 0, Fri, 9th Dec '11 4:59:01 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
15) Story is based in whole or part on a D&D game or world.

Well, that's at least one.

 23 Eventua, Fri, 9th Dec '11 5:52:56 AM from Dumundi Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
Lord of the Citadel
Partially 32 (Fat = Evil): that said, he's not treated as evil because he's fat, but he is evil. Yeah. :/

33 (Character goes along with a plan and has a strong feeling it will end badly, cue it ending badly): Guilty as charged. Soz. D:
The Signature Of Me
 24 Dec, Fri, 9th Dec '11 6:04:10 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
9e. Person uses time travel to achieve some particular result, but in the end something unexpected happens that thwarts their plan.

15. Story is based in whole or part on a D&D game or world. (fanfic ahoy!)

28. Strange and mysterious things keep happening. And keep happening. And keep happening. For over half the story. Relentlessly. Without even a hint of explanation.

33. Protagonist agrees to go along with a plan or action despite not having enough information about it, and despite their worries that the thing will be bad. Then the thing turns out to be bad after all.

Not sure if 9e counts — when the entire story is about constant small-scale timetravel, and a major theme is not knowing enough to understand the repercussions of doing it, can it really be called a "twist"?

On the random discussion of originality, I think that while "there's nothing new under the sun" is nice and pithy, telling a panicked new writer the tactful equivalent of "seriously, calm the fuck down" might lead to less misunderstandings. And that isn't even getting into my own opinions on the subject.

edited 9th Dec '11 9:02:44 AM by Dec

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
read
  • Evil unethical doctor performs medical experiments on unsuspecting patient.
    • Cliché by backstory.
  • It's immediately obvious to the reader that a mysterious character is from the future, but the other characters (usually including the protagonist) can't figure it out.
    • To be fair, if YOU saw a gun in a medieval setting, would YOU know they were from the future (This does not include the protagonists).
    • Oh, and there is this one guy who only uses future slang. But he's supposed to be a cheap "Wizard from the Wizard of Oz after he left Oz" joke.
  • Strange and mysterious things keep happening. And keep happening. And keep happening. For over half the story. Relentlessly. Without even a hint of explanation.
    • Guilty~

edited 9th Dec '11 6:38:12 AM by AtticusFinch

oddly
Total posts: 66
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