It’s a well-known fact that almost every story, every theme has been written already…told and re-told…sold and re-sold…So, in addition to avoiding cliché and blatant plagiarism, writers are charged with thinking of new and original material or at least a new and original way of re-telling a story. Often times to accomplish this mission, we need to think outside of the box. Thinking outside of the box requires understanding the material that is already out here and a willingness to push beyond the boundaries of that established material.
So as you are tackling your novel, novella, short-story, or screenplay (etc, etc) and you find that your storyline sounds familiar; take the time to ask yourself: “How can I make this different, better? How can I make it more original?” Answering this question is what will help to ensure that you are creating an original masterpiece and not a copy of someone else’s work. This is a crucial step that we, as writers, should never skip or ignore. Don’t short-change yourself or your novel by taking the easy way out and regurgitating a book that has already been written.
Let's make sure we challenge ourselves and walk the hard road with the understanding that at the end of the journey we will reap the rewards of our completed projects being all the more better as a result of our investments.
More on pushing the limits in the next post! Until then, happy writing!