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Creative larceny

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Some people find themselves attracted only to those who are already in a committed relationship. Knowing a guy’s hitched (it seems to be mainly heterosexual women that have this problem) makes him instantly more desirable; finding he’s available turns him boring.

I have never suffered in this way so I pass no judgement. I like to think I wouldn’t act on the wish, but what if you never got the hots for anyone single…? I’m not getting into the ethics, just observing that for some, this is how it is.

I’ve always been glad that’s not how it is for me.

But a Truth struck me about myself. In romance, I’m off that particular hook but in writing – aaagh. I only noticed the other day but I realise it has been so all my life.

A friend and I were talking about colours and the wide range of associations they have. They affect mood; they relate to the chakras; some form an international language of warning (eg traffic lights); and all that other stuff. Plus the physics of the spectrum, of course. My friend mentioned that for years she’d had an idle feeling she would one day put together a book with a chapter for each colour, covering every single aspect – since even with all the books that exist on the subject, none takes in all of it; some are more New Agey and some more sociological and so on.

The idea stuck in my head. I have found myself planning a rough outline. So far I’ve resisted putting anything on paper and I’m certain it’s not a project I will ever follow through. But I realised: the thing that lifts this possible above the morass of maybes is the fact that another person has given it serious thought.

In other words, the idea is hers and that in itself makes me want to make it my own.

It’s well known that a creative writing tutor can give a title to a class of twenty and the next week will receive twenty completely different pieces of work. This takes the immoral edge off my impulse: even if I did use that idea, the book I produced would not be anywhere near the same as my friend’s. Does that let me off?

Next time someone asks me where I get my ideas, I’ll know what to reply. At least in some cases – I nick ’em. You?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. thebeardedlady permalink
    Friday 18 September 2009 8.16 pm

    Yep, I nick soooo many ideas. Who was it who said that all writers borrow, but great writers steal? Hey, maybe that was me….

    • Saturday 19 September 2009 11.30 am

      Looks like it was Aaron Sorkin. :0)

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