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Firstly, I don't necessarily mean that the ideas I'm coming up with are good, but I'm finally cracking down on myself and forcing myself to write no matter what horror I may produce.

Well I've been developing this story in my head for about 2 months now and am finally jotting down things on paper as I thought that maybe these ideas could work. Yet some of my ideas for said story are beginning to conflict with each other and I cannot choose between them. I've thought of the pros and cons between some of them and it's just so frustrating! Has anyone else had conflicting story/plot ideas before?

As cliche as it may sound, I just love doing fantasy/sci-fi based stories. The two main conflicting ideas I am having right now are dealing with my main characters origins and the setting. I just cannot decide which of my ideas I like most as I see each one having great potential, but at the same time I also see some possible flaws with them.

For now the big problem is whether or not I want to set it on Earth, in a made-up world, or starting on Earth and then sending the story over to the made-up world/universe. I know the third one would probably be the most cliche, but I think I can make it work if I tried. The Earth-only based one I'm thinking of would probably be more sci-fi based than fantasy. I'd ellaborate more, but I do not wish to give too much away.

I feel like I could make either one work, but I just don't know which setting I like the most. I'm also so paranoid about being overly cliche, but at the same time I know that it's possible to make some cliches work. So it's all been a very hard decision for me to make and is the only thing keeping me from continuing this story. gonk

So for those of you who have had this sort of problem, what's a good way to solve it? Or even if you haven't had this problem, advice and opinions are always welcome anyways since I desperately need it. xD
I_Write_Ivre's avatar

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I find it best to think about how each affects the story. The one you're most interested in will be what your most passionate about, but also it'd help story flow and cohesion.
I think "cliché" is a word a lot of writers are afraid of, but you shouldn't be. A lot of ideas and plots are overdone. It's unavoidable. What makes things stand out is your twist on things, your perspective or style of things. I think you should pick whichever seems more natural for you for the story you'd like to write. I understand that you like a lot, but it's not up to us to pick, as you're the writer. Perhaps you could turn it into a series have have it both set in the fantasy world, and another related story only on Earth, from before or after. Whatever you choose, it should be your choice. Don't let stigmas like clichés scare you. With confidence in your idea, something that might sound cliché on the surface can turn out to be really different and unique!

If you end up posting it on the writing forum, let me know? Through PM or quoting me. It seems like it would be an interesting premise, whatever you choose to do.
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A lot of writers don't appear to understand the meaning of the word "cliche" or how to apply it to anything.

"It was a dark and stormy night" is a cliche. "You win some, you lose some," is a cliche. A cliche is something that's lost it's oomph or whatever you want to call it, through over use. Last I checked, fantasy and sci-fi, while being romped about in frequently, had not come to that.
xVoldie
I think "cliché" is a word a lot of writers are afraid of, but you shouldn't be. A lot of ideas and plots are overdone. It's unavoidable. What makes things stand out is your twist on things, your perspective or style of things. I think you should pick whichever seems more natural for you for the story you'd like to write. I understand that you like a lot, but it's not up to us to pick, as you're the writer. Perhaps you could turn it into a series have have it both set in the fantasy world, and another related story only on Earth, from before or after. Whatever you choose, it should be your choice. Don't let stigmas like clichés scare you. With confidence in your idea, something that might sound cliché on the surface can turn out to be really different and unique!

If you end up posting it on the writing forum, let me know? Through PM or quoting me. It seems like it would be an interesting premise, whatever you choose to do.


Thank you for your awesome input! Your post has really helped a lot and hopefully I can muster up more confidence to get to work faster. I might post it on here, especially if it's something I'm eager to get critiqued. We shall see.

I also like your suggestion of doing a series or two different stories. I hadn't considered that. Thank you. biggrin
Kitsuko Chii
xVoldie
I think "cliché" is a word a lot of writers are afraid of, but you shouldn't be. A lot of ideas and plots are overdone. It's unavoidable. What makes things stand out is your twist on things, your perspective or style of things. I think you should pick whichever seems more natural for you for the story you'd like to write. I understand that you like a lot, but it's not up to us to pick, as you're the writer. Perhaps you could turn it into a series have have it both set in the fantasy world, and another related story only on Earth, from before or after. Whatever you choose, it should be your choice. Don't let stigmas like clichés scare you. With confidence in your idea, something that might sound cliché on the surface can turn out to be really different and unique!

If you end up posting it on the writing forum, let me know? Through PM or quoting me. It seems like it would be an interesting premise, whatever you choose to do.


Thank you for your awesome input! Your post has really helped a lot and hopefully I can muster up more confidence to get to work faster. I might post it on here, especially if it's something I'm eager to get critiqued. We shall see.

I also like your suggestion of doing a series or two different stories. I hadn't considered that. Thank you. biggrin

You're very welcome!
There is nothing cliche about fantasy/sci-fi.

Don't get caught up on setting too much since you're still planning. Try writing a few passages for your idea and get the feel of it. Write one scene that would take place on Earth and then write it again for your own world. I don't know what your idea is and I'm not writing the story, so I cannot make any solid decisions for you. If there won't be any "human" characters in your story it may be better to use an alternate world.
Pick the one that works best with the rest of your story. Trust me, one of them will work better than others. Consider audience reaction, major plot events, your characters, your characterisations, your goals, everything. If you compare two different ideas, one will always fit your criteria better than the other. If you're having trouble picking which, trying looking at each element of your story and giving it a weighting out of 10 (look at them individually so there's no bias). The one that scores the highest is likely to be the better one.
fantasy/sci-fi are genres, not cliches. Genres are very broad in what you can do with them. And, something is only cliche if you make it a cliche. So, make it your own, and show some creativeness and originality, and it won't be cliche. As to what to do for making the decision as to which ideas to use, pick the ones you think you can stick with.
Thanks for the input everyone! You have all given me very useful advice and I think I have figured out what I'm going to do with my story now, I just need to test it out. I may write something from the two ideas that I most prefer, and see which turns out best. Chances are a chapter or two--maybe more-- will be posted up here if anyone might be interested in critiquing me.

Also as for the thing over cliche's, that was my bad. I think my misunderstanding came from me listening to some other writers complain about fantasy writing/writers and what-not, which made me feel even more self concious about my writing than I already am. I probably should have simply ignored them as it was obvious that they were full of themselves, but for some reason the words kind of stuck and I began to believe that it was seen as a "cliche" to write fantasy/sci-fi stories. My apologies. I am also glad to hear that so many of you support sci-fi/fantasy genres!

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