How often have you read the short blurb of a book or seen a movie trailer and thought, "This is going to be the most epically epic thing in the history of epicness!" and the story ended up being far from your expectations (in a bad way)?
That feeling you get when you read a blurb or a line, watch a movie trailer, or hear a verbal pitch from a friend--WRITE IT DOWN. Your initial expectations and hopes and dreams for a story are incredibly important for you as a writer. It'll help you find the stories YOU want to read, and thus, write.
When you watch a movie trailer that blows your mind, sit down with a pen and paper and write down exactly what you're feeling. Write down the thoughts running through your head as you watch each scene of the trailer. Write down what you're looking forward to about the movie. Which characters really stick out and what you think their stories/backstories are. Jot down some notes as to why you're getting an epic feeling. Write down how that movie is playing out in your mind. i.e., your predictions and expectations. (I'm talking about movies here, but this also applies to books and video games and magazine articles and news stories and anything else story-related).
If, after watching the movie or reading the book, it doesn't meet your expectations, great! You can now use your initial notes to create your own story the way you imagined. Don't copy the exact premise or characters--that's plagiarism. But rework the entire story to what you hoped it would've been.
I'll give you example from my past writings. (Note, there are spoilers ahead!! for Cornealia Funke's The Thief Lord!)
**Start of spoilers**
When I was a kid, I read the book The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. It's about this group of orphan kids forming a gang. Their leader is the mysterous Thief Lord. He's a brilliant leader and even better thief. The entire book gave me a feeling of power--these kids were really badass, especially their leader. Then what happened at the end? The Thief Lord was a fraud. He was stealing jewels from his father, rather than all the high-end places we all thought he stole from.
I was so furious at the boy I'd admired and respected (for his brains and resourcefulness) was a fake, I ragequit reading and wrote my own story the way I wanted it to go. That became the Essence of Sin, where I created my own gang and gave their leader that same sense of badassery I thought the Thief Lord had.
**End of spoilers**
Try this out next time you watch a movie trailer or TV show commercial or see a movie poster or read the back-of-the-book blurb. Write down your initial reaction and expectations and store them in your writer's vault for the time you need that feeling of badassery for your own stories.
You can even do this with seeing some random person on the street and creating a backstory for them. You can do this by listening to piece of music that gives you a "feeling". Try to put that feeling into words, into characters, into stories. For example, listen to any Two Steps From Hell song, and you're bound to play out epic war battles in your head. Write them down before you forget them, before the feeling fades with every subsequent listen of that song or playthrough of that video game or movie or readthrough of that book! You'll likely only get that feeling once, so don't lose the chance to capture into words (or pictures if you'd rather draw it out).
YOU ARE READING
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