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Old August 5 2012, 01:08 PM   #1383
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
The argument about creativity baffles me. If you use somebody else's idea, it's less creative than using your own idea. That's pretty straightforward.
I'm sorry, but you're obviously not a creator, or you'd understand how completely and utterly wrong you are here. You do know that Greg and I, the ones telling you that your assumptions about creativity are in error, are professional writers, don't you? This is what we do for a living. You wouldn't assume you were qualified to tell a surgeon he was wrong about how to perform surgery, would you? So what the hell makes you think you're qualified to say you know more about what creativity is than those of us who make a living at it?

This actually came up at a panel here at Shore Leave just yesterday, a workshop on creative writing run by Marco Palmieri, David Mack, and David R. George III. They said the same basic things I've been saying: that it doesn't matter where your ideas come from, that every story has been told before in some form. Everything you do is going to be an amalgam of elements from past works, but that doesn't matter. The originality comes from the fact that you are telling the story instead of someone else. Your perspective on it is different from another person's perspective. Even if you use the same names and the same premise that an earlier author used, what you create is still a reflection of yourself, and that is what makes it new and different. Different creators can do wildly, wonderfully different things with the same idea, and creators have been doing exactly that for as long as humanity has existed.

So you are so, so incredibly, monumentally, elementally wrong here to think that just using a premise and characters that have been used before makes you less creative. That is utter BS, it's a superficial and ignorant understanding of creativity, and you'll still be agonizingly wrong no matter how many times you stubbornly restate it. That's as ludicrous as saying that a composer who writes for the trumpet is less creative than a composer who invents an entirely new wind instrument. It simply doesn't work that way. The pre-existing characters and concepts are just your building blocks. It's how you put them together that matters.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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