Old vs. New Ideas
You should always write for adults, but not just your family. It is much better to talk to people we know than to write for them.
Adults are busy. They don’t have much time. We want a story they will like so we aren’t wasting their time.
Ideas are “Old” if—
- The audience probably knows a lot about them
- The audience probably is not interested in them.
Ideas are “New” if—
- The audience probably does not know much about them
- The audience probably is interested in them.
An Old Idea is one an adult stranger probably
knows a lot about OR probably isn’t interested in.
A New Idea is one an adult stranger probably
doesn’t know much about AND is probably interested in.
Again! And again!
Task 3.1.1 – Individual or Small Group
Is the following Old or New?
- a pool table
- a pool table in which you must shoot through water and fish
- a bed
- a bed in which you sleep upside down on the ceiling
- a genius vacuum cleaner
- a bald-headed man
- a pet tarantula
- a rabbit whose ears are microphones
- a walking chair
- an airplane
- a giraffe
- gum that makes you chew it
- a bald eagle
- eyebrows that move around your face
- a cat on a roof
I Is Always Old
The word I is Old information. That’s because the reader does not know you and therefore does not care about you.
For example, pretend I said, “I took the garbage out last night.’ Is that an Old idea or a New idea?
It’s an Old idea. You did not know I took the garbage out last night, but you don’t care.
Descriptive Words Do Not Make an Old New
Adding descriptive words to an Old idea does not usually make it New.
A dragon Old
A fire-breathing dragon Old
A purple, fire-breathing dragon Old
You might say, “I’ve never heard of a purple, fire-breathing dragon.” However, it’s still a dragon.
On the other hand: A dragon trying to give its treasure away. New
The Old/New Formula
A formula will help you:
O + O equals Poor idea
O + N equals Good idea
O = Old idea
N = New idea
had a problem with
OLD + OLD = POOR SUBJECT
had a problem with
a talking dog
OLD + NEW = GOOD SUBJECT
Task 3.1.2 – Individual or Small Group
Determine the formula for the following:
- I had a problem with a mosquito the size of a house.
- I had a problem with a moose that thought it was a dog.
- I had a problem with King Kong.
- I had a problem with an alien.
- I had a problem with a mean old man.
- I had a problem with an Egyptian mummy.
- I had a problem with an Egyptian wildcat.
- I had a problem with a poison apple.
- I had a problem with a pirate.
- I had a problem with a pirate ship.
- I had a problem with a ghost.
- I had a problem with a window in my neighbor’s house.
- I had a problem with a zebra.
- I had a problem with an invisible football.
- I had a problem with skis that wanted to ski uphill.
- I had a problem with my teacher.
- I had a problem with my cousin Bill.
- I had a problem with an overweight bulldog.
- I had a problem with a bull fly that could keyboard.
- I had a problem with a vacuum cleaner that sucked up time.