Unique Little SnowflakesApril 21, 2009 at 2:43 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
I’ve always had ideas for plots, characters, conflicts. They sound great in my head and I’m always excited to get them down on paper — until I get about 2,000 words in. That’s usually when I’m hit with the first wave of doubt; is this idea workable? Isn’t it overdone? Aren’t I just hanging off the coattails somebody else’s story? Why is my piece so special?
This tormented me for a long time. After all, Shakespeare’s already written it all, hasn’t he? Anything we write is just a cheap imitation of a great idea that’s already been done and redone.
So what makes our writing unique?
People are always talking about a ‘new spin,’ but I don’t quite know what they mean. It’s such a generic statement — ‘be responsible’ as opposed to ‘do all your homework every single night and never smoke pot.’
And yet we somehow end up with fantastic new concepts. Look at Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series; it takes an age-old theme and turns it into an adventure unlike anything else I’ve found. Why? What sets Westerfeld’s book apart from the generic brain-over-beauty and rebels-eat-the-government ideas that seem to be everywhere?
That’s my question for you, Twifties. It’s a big world, and there’s a lot out there — so how do you make sure YOUR story is a unique little snowflake?