As an aspiring writer, it’s important to have peers that I can look to for support, answers, or just a thumbs-up now and then. I belong to a critique group that meets monthly, and a writer’s group that used to, before the Covid wrecked everything.
But three hours or so a month isn’t enough peer grouping, so I joined several writing-oriented groups on Facebook.
These have been interesting, as my fellow member runs the gamut from newbs to published professionals. It’s great getting varied opinions and perspectives, and it soothes my ego when one of my responses gets lots of love. But there’s a type of question I see frequently that I try to ignore but still gets on my nerves.
“I have this idea for a story,” the question begins. It goes on to lay out a scenario, a characterization, or a conflict. Then the poster sums up by asking, “Is this a good idea? Would you read this?”
God bless these people, I guess maybe they’re looking for some validation, but… no.
In my humble opinion as a non-published author (whatever that’s worth) the idea isn’t the most important thing to a story. The most important thing is the execution of the idea.
Let me explain. Have you ever flipped through Netflix and, based on the short blurb, decided to watch a movie you’d never heard of before? And twenty minutes in you decide it’s not worth your time and you bail? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
The blurb was the idea. It sounded good, so you started the movie. Then you found that the director/producer/screenwriter/actors didn’t execute the idea properly.
Here’s a specific example. Remember Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies? Great fun, epic, entertaining, visually exciting. All things you would not attribute to Ralph Bakshi’s first attempt at the source material back in 1978.
This was a bad, bad movie, poorly executed and incomplete. Bakshi worked with the same source material as Jackson, but Peter’s execution was far more masterly.
So, stop wasting your time asking whether you idea is good. Spend that time instead on executing your idea well.