My biggest concern is to make my book original. Obviously, no one wants to copy another author's work. But further, I really don't want my story to be even close to another author's work, for fear I would be constantly comparing the two, and finding mine lacking. So the question is, how do you take a common theme and make it yours? By way of example, there are a lot of people who have written about vampires (disclaimer: I've probably read a lot of those books!) The trick is, to make it different from say Twilight. Is there really a way to address these common themes in original ways, or are we all doomed to be a sort of fan fiction ripping off other author's ideas?
I am not really sure what the answer is, I just know I am holding out hope I can come up with an idea of how to address what is probably not a unique topic in a new and creative way. I know the best way to do that is to come up with my own characters who are well developed and who readers can relate to (or at least characters who I relate to as I may be the only one to read this!) Which means, I am basically back to the drawing board.
I have two potential story lines I am considering, but both have complications for me to consider. One story I have developed a little more in my head but it involves me writing scenes I am not sure I am comfortable with yet (i.e., romance). The second story is less developed but which I am a little more drawn to, but it involves a type of character who was previously addressed by a writer who I love. I think I am leaning towards the latter at this point, but it is obviously a HUGE concern of mine to write about a character who was previously addressed by a writer I respect, even tangentially. I mean, I love how she did it in her book, so the question is how can I do it differently? The one positive with this storyline; however, is that this character was not her main character, but it was a significant one.
Of course, in the end, I am just hoping to come up with something uniquely mine, even if I am the only one who will read it. So I think I will brainstorm a little more and hope to come up with my brilliant original idea, or at least my original take on a more common idea. One way I will be doing this is by using the worksheets sent out by the NaNo contributors. I find it amazing how many published authors, including quite a few authors whose books I have read, have taken the time to send out advice to aspiring writers. I can honestly say, in the few days I've been working on this, I have already learned so much. There are also a few writers who have their own blogs which I follow (i.e., stalk). Most of these authors have written at some point about their writing process. Again, this advice has been invaluable to me even at these beginning stages. I have quite a few of the pages bookmarked for further review.
As for coming up with my final plan, well I have three days until NaNo starts, so knowing me, I won't have made a final decision until the last possible second. Here's hoping it is the right decision!
So over this weekend I have:
- Found out my brilliant original idea, is actually not so original;
- Scrapped said unoriginal idea;
- Got distracted on Amazon adding quite a few new books to my already overloaded wish list;
- Took time out to celebrate my 35th birthday (more like freak out over the idea I could possibly be that old);
- Come up with a game plan to make a decision on a new storyline; and
- Write this blog entry to procrastinate actually making said decision :)
If anyone who writes (or is attempting NaNo) is actually reading this blog, I am wondering how you address the concern that your storyline was likely already done. You know the saying, there are no new ideas only new takes on those ideas... or maybe I made that up.