It’s All Been Done Before
It’s a common fear among writers. We set out with some brilliant idea, and blaze the trail with enthusiasm. Then, we recall something we read long ago or stumble on something in a new book that looks familiar. It’s close to ours. Too close. We hang our heads and hit the delete button because it’s already been done.
Worse yet, we fail to even begin writing a story, because we think another author has already plowed that ground.
It’s Hasn’t Been Written By You
Let’s be honest, there is a finite number of ideas in the human consciousness. Even if we invent new creatures and new worlds, much of it is still going to be derived from somebody else’s ideas. Please understand, there is nothing wrong with that.
Your ideas don’t have to be what make your books unique. More likely, it will be the voice you write the story in, and the way your ideas interact with your world and characters. Yes, of course there has been a book about a young male hero who slays a dragon. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t yearning for more!
It isn’t that idea that will make your story shine, it’s the flare you put on it that nobody else would, or could. Perhaps you draw on something from your unique childhood or a very bizarre friend you had in school. While the idea of a young hero slaying a dragon is not new, there are millions of YOUR ideas which will make it seem fresh.
Old Plots, New Tellings
Readers are fans of certain genres for one reason in particular; they love the themes and the plots. They love it when heroes slay dragons! They don’t want you to omit that from your writing just because it’s been done before, they just want to see what crazy things you can do with that old idea.
Maybe your hero can become a dragon himself, and maybe that’s how he defeats the evil beast. However, maybe he’s also afraid of heights, and he hates fire. Now it’s a story about a guy (or girl) overcoming his fears to put himself in position to be a hero (or heroin). It also sounds funny that he can morph himself into a flying, fire-breathing animal, yet he’s scared of everything that he can do.
Make It Up, It’s What We Do
Be creative, and mostly just let the words flow. See what happens when you embark on that story you want to write. Never let the fear of somebody else’s work prevent you from writing your own. You have far more ideas inside of you than you might think. You can’t realize those ideas until you start writing your story.
Get to work, we all want to read your version!