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At any given time there will be any number of stories in books, on television, or on the big screen that appear to be exactly the same.  The tendency is to believe that there are those ready to steal your work.  The truth is, there are only so many story types out there.  So when one movie about vampires comes out at exactly the same time as your vampire movie, what can you do?  Simple, MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

What makes one movie stand out from another is not that it is the only zombie slaying, Bigfoot, romance, crime drama, it that when you create your story, it is your zombie slaying, Bigfoot, romance, crime drama.  When you make it your story it becomes as unique as you are.  The demented elves like to create new styles from old structures.  An example would be, when challenged to write a Haiku poem, this poet wrote it about being hung over.  Not exactly award winning material, but it brought a smile to a few faces.  This isn't always going to get you the big bucks (OK, so it will most likely never get you the big bucks), but maybe by trying something different you might find your own voice.  It is your own voice that makes or brakes your story.  Once you find your own voice, keep working on it.  The great story will sell, but first you need to find it. 

 
 
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The recent purchase of a new cellphone has brought the demented elves to a realization.  One that will divert attention away from the storytelling process itself and address a common dilemma many writers have, most of us new writers that is:  What app or software should I use?

When it comes to apps, one should use caution.  This isn't just for writing apps, this the rule for any app will promise you the world, but many, especially the free ones, simply don't deliver.  In fact, many do nothing.  My suggestion to you is, read what they say it will do and then read the reviews.  That will tell you if it is something you would use.  A word of caution though, don't believe all the reviews you read since there are always sour grapes and those that don't like anything.  I suggest you read all the reviews and look for common problems in each.  In the end, you have to find what works for you.

When it comes to software, there is a lot out there, and depending on what you want to write depends on the software you need.  Obviously, if you are simply writing letters, reports, or even magazine articles, all you need is a word processing program.  For that matter, an old fashioned typewriter might suite your fancy.  These are all items that do not require any specialized formatting or elements.  If you are a writing a novel, you may wish to stick with the word processing; however, you have to work with what makes you happy.  As for formatting software, the demented elves have one piece of advice:  Test drive the different software using the demo programs before spending a penny.  many are quite costly and it would be a shame to spend money only to find out it wasn't what you wanted.  In regards to making any recommendations for software, the demented elves will not do so because each has something different to offer and it all is a matter of writer preference.

In the end, whether it is for learning to write or for formatting, one must find the apps and software that works for the individual.  There is no one right way to do things (unless it is the format of the document itself).  That said, remember buyers remorse can be painful so know what you are buying, even the free stuff.  Just remember, there is no substitute for hard work, so there is no magic app (or software) that will write your story for you.  Have fun with the programs, but put in the work.

 
 
I read a book on screenwriting written by a gentleman who read screenplays submitted to the Raindance Film Festival.  The author stated in all the submissions he had read, he never found a bad premise, only poorly executed ones.  It is an interesting thought.  To me this means that any idea, no matter how far fetched it may be, has the possibility of becoming a great story.  

Consider the premise that a storyteller continued to tell stories to keep her husband from killing her the next day.  You would have 1001 Arabian Nights.  A very old story indeed.  From that we get Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, not to mention Sinbad the Sailor, each its own story with its own premise, and one executed well enough that it has endured for hundreds of years.  But what if we took the storyteller out of the Persian king's bedroom and placed it in the Soviet Union, in the Black Market, or on Mars?    While each would be a variation of the same premise, it would provide all sorts of unique story lines, each with its own potential for memorable stories.  

The premise, in and of itself, is merely a launching point for your story.  How you 
develop the premise makes all the difference.  Let us return to 1001 Arabian Nights.  If the storyteller had been an old hag instead of a beautiful young virgin, perhaps the king might not have been enchanted with her long enough to hear the first story.  Or what if she had been any enemy agent, or a man?  Each one of these ideas might have worked for today's audiences, but in Persia hundreds of years ago, those story lines would be unthinkable.  If we really wanted to get demented, one could make the beautiful young virgin a male enemy agent from Mars.

So it is down to execution.  That premise alone, while demented, is not enough for a good story, but it does lend itself to enchanting possibilities; however, it is up to the author to develop what would happen.  To a demented elf's way of thinking, take your premise and play a what if game.  Consider different variables.  Make it different, but also understand, premise isn't the story, it is the starting point.