ideas are easy; execution is hard

The radiant Robyn Bender sent me this link to an essay in Locus, by Cory Doctorow. It’s about fan fic, and why fan fic is not only good, but necessary. Here’s my favorite bit:

Each person who retold Pygmalion did something both original — no two tellings are just alike — and derivative, for there are no new ideas under the sun. Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. That’s why writers don’t really get excited when they’re approached by people with great ideas for novels. We’ve all got more ideas than we can use — what we lack is the cohesive whole.

Lee Goldberg will be up in arms, but he’ll just have to give it up.