Take interesting ideas, big and small, and put them through a process. A combination of distorting lenses which when compared on the whole align in strange ways revealing unexpected perspectives.
Bending around obstructions I didn't even know were there. The composition... a mystery. Both designed and compromised everything I produce is grown lumpy and twisted yet when chopped up, boiled and served... it's delicious. The mind is a vehicle for exploring our imagination. Our imagination is an engine constantly creating and destroying permutative suggestions. It's our choices which transform worthless potential into valuable causality.
Lot's of people have great ideas, but that isn't art or capital. Raw elements must be refined and shaped to fit constructively with others. The artist's will must be impressed upon the tools. The materials must be consulted and the platform considered. Redundancy avoided, which is easier the more unique your personal process. The chance of "accidentally" replicating another artist is almost zero when you've developed your own style over thousands of painful moments.
The markets aren't keeping their demands secret, either. They scream like a hungry baby demands its milk. Tossed endlessly between boredom and confusion, the inspired artist offers but the briefest reprieve for an audience incapable of solving its own problems. Caught in a moment without the pain of living an unoriginal day. Grateful to feel part of something real.
Isn't that what you offer beyond your specific ideas as an author? The chance for your reader to be part of something bigger than themselves. To connect their world with yours improving both. This is why you shake their hand and say thank you when they tell you they love you for the thousandth time. It always matters because they are the real world you create when you publish. They step onto your plane of existence and with their appreciation your "fiction" forms a new reality.
What is real?
Without getting into scientific definitions of matter let's define real as anything which can impact your life. I'd argue that which is capital is real. It influences economy which is the fabric through which we operate our interactions with society and produce our household needs. This conflation of interests presents an unusual opportunity to effect the real world with fictional products like novels because of their effectiveness in influencing people through publishing markets.
While the daily media manipulates the shallow emotions of high volume viewers the author seeks to inform a deeper narrative.
Literally every profitable book written, even if it's about killer clowns from outer space, generates a plethora of economic activity and benefits for the writer, reader, publisher, printer, distributor, convention managers, tour agents, merchandisers, food vendors, and most importantly other artists. Good capital expands markets making room for more contributors with offerings as unique as they are.
When authors show up at libraries and book stores for signings... books are moved. Coffees are sold. Little gift items for kids find their way out the door. Audience expands as interest is peaked and the author shows their commitment to both publisher and press. Questions start coming up about screenplays or movie deals. The more people who are educated on the ideas you've presented "in your own words" the further your range of influence extends. Video games, TV shows, movies, soundtracks and more.
If you're really lucky your work will inspire other artists to make more high art of their own. There's never too much capital. There can definitely be too many copies, too much commodity, but there is always room for more high art. A passionate artist has a studio or vault full of capital they've produced and perhaps never bothered to test in the marketplace. Something special they made just for them for their own very personal reasons. Some will even destroy the capital after they've completed it. Just to ensure that all of it's value in this world remained pure without a single derivative or commodity carved from it. A life's legacy can only truly be protected by death.
Obvious on the face of it, no? How could there be too many good ideas? Too many original paintings, sculptures, or buildings. And thanks to the Muse effect, the derivative inspirations reveal even more capital opportunities which only further add value to the world. Inspiration begets inspiration when a capital production is applied. The artists who master their means of production will discover enough opportunity to last the rest of their lives. With words well spoken the world may still sing well earned praises years beyond your time on this plane.
Every human being ever born has the potential to radically change the character of human civilization. While nature typically demands a productive contribution, the specific shape of that change, like a signature, indelibly credits the author. Good or bad. Production is a compounding reflection of that capital process employed upon effective ideas which no one person can own. An author doesn't invent the words, but composes the story. Words are only successful as a tool because they've consistently demonstrated their value in conveying artful expression. Capitalizing on the original contributions of the artist.
The insider's point of view
Reading between the lines is nothing when you're reading behind the words. The author, any author, is granted a unique gift having developed and proven the worth of their artistic process. They "see" a level of activity in the work of other writers which most readers miss. Activity which extends far beyond the page. A reading author begins to sense phantoms of the process of writing. Signs of ideas converting into capital. To an author these remnants are the tastiest bits and act as examples for future possibilities.
When you recognize a master stroke it says several things at once. It says you're lucky... you're experienced... you're learning... and you're improving. Your potential for producing a master work of your own has come one step closer. Watch for these moments because they're the guide posts left for you by others in the hopes that you might follow along for a little while. Once you realize the limits of yesterday you'll exceed them in unpredictable ways.
A final thought to really drive home the point about unlimited yet unpredictable human potential. Every teacher who has ever looked at the group of kids in their classroom has had their favourites. Has their best guest of who will be successful and who won't... and you know what? Though that teacher knows those kids as well as anyone, sees them every day. Teaches and judges their skills and intelligence; grades their work and social behaviour... No teacher in their right mind would put money on which of those kids will succeed because change is the only constant and the world is full of surprises.