East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Original Ideas

I usually say originality is overestimated. I even write a series of articles in an Italian webzine that use that bit as a catchphrase. Being original is important, but you can’t copyright ideas – in the end what counts is not what ideas you rub together to spark a story, but how you use those sparks. What you do with the ideas, where you go with them, where you drag the reader and how. That’s what’s got to be original – the execution.

I just posted an article – in the Nuts & Bolts series – on my Patreon about ideas and themes – where to find them, how to use them. I’ll have to expand that piece, but it’s a start.
And what happens when you don’t have original ideas?
You use what’s at hand.
You steal, borrow, recycle.
It’s allowed – there’s a book in the best-seller list, quite good, called Steal Like an Artist. It’s quite good.

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Original ideas do not exist

Foiled again!
But enjoy your fleeting triumph while you can, J.O. Quinliven!
Next time, I will get to the title first!


And i actually changed the title of my story!

Thanks to my friend Andrea Sfiligoi for pointing out this old cover to me.

Oh, and in case you are curious (what the heck, I was!), there’s a great collection of mr Quinliven’s stories from the thirties (including Brides of the Swamp God), available through Amazon.com: Terror Tales J. O. Quinliven
Check it out!