Maybe it’s just me, but I wonder if other authors experience this conundrum.
When experiencing the labor pains of getting a new story sorted before I can even begin writing, I do a few things. I write characters sketches, take a lot of random notes, and write about the setting, or anything else that is rolling around in my head. Sometimes I let that all marinate for days/weeks/months, and other times I just start writing.
For those moments I need to give the flavors time to soak in, I often find I benefit from talking about the story with another person.
But it’s terrifying to share your unwritten story with someone.
What if they steal it?
What if they take parts and make them better than you ever could?
What if they look at you after you’re done talking and tell you it sounds like the biggest steaming pile of poo they’ve ever heard?
So I often keep my thoughts to myself. I don’t work out problems with writer friends or ask them if they think a plot point is too far out there, until I’m completely done with a draft of my manuscript.
Can you say trust issues?
All of North Star was discussed with a friend as we walked around the lake and many times after that over several bottles of wine. Last night I talked to my husband about the latest story poking at my brain. The working title is Cherry Circle. Who knows what it will end up being considering how often I change titles lately.
But I wonder if I’m alone in this paranoia. Do other writers worry about sharing their ideas? If you do share them, who do you share them with? Is it another writer? A reader? A friend? I’d truly like to know, because my brain works best by talking, talking, talking. And then I can write!
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I have some of the same thoughts you mention–but even worse is when I talk about a story too soon and it just disappears. I’d rather someone use the idea and make it their own than to have mine go poof!
Once I’m far enough along that’s not a big issue, or when I have a plot point that won’t sit right, I run it by my daughter. She’s also a writer and not afraid to call b.s., so if she doesn’t laugh I’m usually okay. 🙂
I’d love to have a daughter to talk to about this stuff, but mine is only eleven. I have to wait seven more years.
Mine’s a writer, but she’s also a lesbian so she doesn’t read my stories anymore–too much testosterone. 😉