Thoughts on combining multiple ideas

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Thread: Thoughts on combining multiple ideas

  1. #1

    Thoughts on combining multiple ideas

    In my writing I have noticed a tendency to want to combine different ideas.
    Two concepts seemingly unrelated to begin with that end up with similar themes or similar characters.
    I was wondering what you all thought about amalgamating different multiple different ideas.
    Does it create a wider and more expansive story? Will it allow for deeper characters in the long run?
    Or do I run the risk of trying to mix two ideas that ultimately don't quite stitch together seamlessly? Trying to force a narrative from two ideas that don't really fit together.

    As an example I started off with two separate ideas, one being more of a macabre fairy tale, drawing inspiration from the likes of Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" and "The Graveyard Book" as well as Alice in Wonderland. The other being a more mature dark fantasy.
    Similar themes around their individual mythologies started to develop as well as similarities between certain characters and the idea eventually dawned on me that I could have one as a sort of prequel or origin story to the other. I could have the protagonist in the fairy tale end up as the protagonist in the dark fantasy.

    I don't know if this arises simply as a result of drawing from similar sources or writing similar main characters, I am just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences as well as how well it would work out.

  2. #2
    It'll either work out or not as you're writing. Creating is always an adventure. Sometimes the path is smooth and you fly downhill. Other times you push a load uphill over bumpy ground.

    If the ideas are merging naturally, it'll probably work out fine. If you're forcing it, then there's more chance of trouble.

  3. #3
    Member NathanielleC's Avatar
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    I've always considered it a logical fallacy that any story is simply one idea. Even short stories are a combination of ideas.

    One story I wrote was called Redemption. It's a little under a thousand words and I can sum it up easily enough by telling you it's about a kid who recycles his grandfather. The ideas that lead to the final story involved a bad experience with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, the culturally acceptable exploitation of certain groups of people for financial gain, and a fake bus stop at a nursing home in Germany.

    The challenge is weaving all of these ideas into a coherent narrative without beating your reader over the head with every single ounce of symbolism.
    I write because if I did anything else with the ideas in my head, I'd go to prison.

  4. #4
    When you say combine, you actually mean two separate stories with the same cast of character? Yeah, sure, it makes total sense.

    I thought you meant two ideas become one story, which can work too. I've had several thoughts of mixing two ideas, but I always struggle with properly mixing them, because usually they always have their own stable plots already so if I try to add in another arc it always ends in chaos if I don't want to change major points I liked in one but don't go well with the other.
    "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." - Raymond Chandler


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