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queenzboulevard's avatar

Will writers ever run out of creativity?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2544 points ) January 30th, 2009

I think I’m using the word “theme” correctly (I mean it as in the topic that you’re writing about).

Obviously you can write 100 different stories about one theme (cowboys, love, war, psychotic killers), but will there ever be so many stories written that they begin to be repetitive? Or will new stories always keep us entertained, even though we’ve read 100 different versions of the guy who falls in love with the girl? Will the fact that we probably know what’s going to happen at the end ruin the fun of finishing a new story? Will we ever be too bored with knowing the good guy is going to win over the bad guy? Do you think future stories will start to have bad guys winning all the time, just to switch things up for our entertainment?

You don’t have to answer all these questions—they’re just questions to spark your thoughts about this topic.

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19 Answers

cage's avatar

Introduced to Hero.
Problem Occurs.
Problem Overcome/delayed for sequel.
End.

That’s the basis for any story so if you want to be technical, almost all fictional stories are repeats.

I think more themes will arise. Cowboys are a time, we’re still moving through time and things will occur, like war as you also mention.
Human emotions like love are felt in different ways in different people, so surely different descriptions will come about.
Psycohtic Killers is a news thing, and there will always be more news moments to happen.

New things will occur. New inspiration will happen. New stories will be written.

asmonet's avatar

The basics as Cage explained will remain the same, the details however will change. As society evolves so too shall the authors.

How many Romeo & Juliet‘s have you ever seen? Thousands. The story was probably still enjoyable. Life doesn’t change often – or quickly.

Sakata's avatar

That problem came up in the country music song writing community about 50–60 years ago. They all said “so what” and moved right along. That’s why 90% of country songs are about the same things. It’s happening in movies too: remakes, re-releases, the overabundance of sequels.

There are only so many topics worth writing/reading about; as long as people figure out a new way to present those topics then creativity will never die… it may get boring though.

Comedians have been doing this for years

Bluefreedom's avatar

One of the most prolific writers that I know of is Dean Koontz and I have no idea how he keeps coming up with so many new concepts for so many books.

I would think that the only way writers will ever run out of creativity is when they start limiting their own imaginations on what they can produce. And if it got to that point, wouldn’t it be time to retire from writing because the fun and interest would be gone?

jonsblond's avatar

@Bluefreedom Love Koontz. Most of his books have the same theme, just different details.

Where were you the other day when I asked what had happened at the end of The Taking? My dogs ate my book and I had a chapter left.:)

fireside's avatar

Love Koontz sounds like a small furry pet from outer space.
or an STD


but so do i

laureth's avatar

Stories have been repeating for years.
It’s just the details that change.

fireside's avatar

love joseph campbell too

Bluefreedom's avatar

@jonsblond. I actually haven’t read The Taking yet. I read so many books that sometimes, when I take a break from Koontz material, I come back to it and find 3 or 4 new books from him. Sometimes I have trouble keeping up with his writing pace.

I actually did see your message about your dog eating your book and if I had read it, I would have sent you a personal message to fill you in. I’ll do better next time. :o)

scamp's avatar

Old writers never die, they just post on Fluther, ha ha!!

Jeruba's avatar

Ha ha.

jonsblond's avatar

@Bluefreedom I don’t think I could ever read all his books. So many of them, and sometimes I need a change of scenery.

@queenz Sorry for turning this into a Dean Koontz fan club thread.

marinelife's avatar

I think there will be new stories as long as humans go on.

Jeruba's avatar

And they will continue to consist of the same human elements and explore the same themes. And they will also depict new experiences and reveal new insights. And stories will be how we know ourselves, how we interpret the world, and how we teach our young. I think that’s magical.

aprilsimnel's avatar

There will always be a Hero(ine)‘s Journey, as this handy diagram based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces illustrates.

I would suggest that anyone who wishes to write any kind of narrative own a copy of this book. Dead serious. /end plug.

gooch's avatar

I think they do all the time. Very few TV shows last more than a couple of seasons.

Shegrin's avatar

When the world begins to crumble at its end and we’ve burned all the books for warmth and wee can’t find food and are running low on water and our deaths are imminent and we are only concerned with being near the ones we love when the end comes, then I think we’ll run out of creativity. Not so much run out as stow away in favor of more important/pertinent emotions.

proXXi's avatar

Of course, how do you account for 95% of whats in television and film?

If anyone wants to help me dig up and reanimate Rod Serling PM me.

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