Is There Anything Original Left to Write?

Every writer (I think) has two main dreams
1. Publishing a bestseller
2. Writing something truly original

However unlikely it might seem, number one is always a possibility…if you keep plugging away at it: writing, editing, showing your work to people, eventually you might get lucky and have your ‘E. L. James moment’. Someone who’s well-placed in the publishing industry might read it, love it, and next thing you know you’ve got enough cash to fill a swimming pool! (Like I said…writers dream…)

Number two is actually much harder…

I read somewhere the other day that something like 107 billion people have lived on this planet. Realistically what that means is that unless you are a bona fide genius, or a mad keen thrill-seeking explorer, you are unlikely to be the first or only person who has done or experienced whatever it is you’re planning to write about. You’re probably not even the first person to write it down. Heck, I’m 100% certain I’m not the first person to make this point!! (Warning – link contains some coarse language!!!)

The good news is, odds are you are the only person who has your exact set of combined experiences. Therefore, even though the themes you are exploring in your story may have been written about by dozens of different authors in a dozen different languages, even though there have been hundreds of fictional detectives solving thousands of fictional murders, hundreds of different fantasy or sci-fi universes invented, thousands of tacky romances read on planes and trains…there is a good chance there is something new you can bring to the table. It may not be completely original – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a bestseller!!!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Is There Anything Original Left to Write?

  1. Good points well made. I think I read somewhere too that there are a finite number of plots – it’s how you put the characters, setting, context, period in time etc together. A bit like following a recipe – it’s how you put the ingredients together and what “special something” you add to the cake recipe that produces a mouthwatering, luscious cake or a heavy, dull flop.

    • That’s a great analogy!

      I’m sure we’ve all read stories where the elements are strangely familiar, but the author has mixed them up enough that it feels new…

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