Photo "Idea Bulb" by Ramunas Geciauskas from Flickr
Some people have said that vampires are getting old, and aliens will be the next big trend, but I disagree. The newest trend is… that there is no new trend, or novel idea. At least I don’t think so. It’s mostly the same old, basic ones that we recycle over and over again.
Before I even started writing, I just sat around discarding story ideas because they were all too similar to ones I’ve read and I really, really wanted to come up with a novel idea, something that would shake the world up. And this was both frustrating and discouraging, because everything seemed to have already been written about, and I wished I could go back in time when fewer things had been written and there had been fewer writers so that I could write something for the first time.
So I was kind of stuck and not writing anything, until finally I got my mind around to the fact that it didn’t matter. At all. And it wasn’t about the idea, but about how you write it, the spin you give it. It’s not as if I’ll wake up tomorrow and write something and say to you:
“Hey, I have a book with a totally new concept, I’ve decided to call it love. It’s a little elusive, but I’m hoping to fix that during revision, maybe my crit buddies will help.”
And that’s okay. And maybe it’s even better that way because all the important things have been written about—love, friendship, fitting in, finding yourself, etc. As writers we always strive to come up with new stuff and I think we’re often scared that it won’t be new enough, it won’t be different enough, why are we even bothering, but really, it should make us feel better. Because 1) in the end the important things are all the same, so really we shouldn’t worry so much about coming up with something because it’s already been done, we should concentrate on expressing it, and 2) that means that there’s a lot of other people out there trying to say the same things as us so even if our unique viewpoint on them doesn’t reach that many people, theirs might.
Just a thought.
What do you think? Agree or disagree?