Creating something new is daunting. Where do you start? I know if I'm putting something together, at some point I get anxious about how it will be received by people who read it. Will it make any sense? Is it good enough? Is it just terrible? Irrelevant? Boring?
So it's tempting to lean on things that have already been done. To do a repeat of other things you've liked or that have been popular. For me anyway, this temptation is incredibly strong. It seems so much less scary than deviating too much from what's been done before and possibly falling on my face.
And I have leaned on existing genres and stories a LOT. I think the stories end up different enough by the time it's finished that the starting point is invisible to readers.
But if you out and out copy something that already exists - the best you can be is a second-rate somebody else. You can't really do that and get anywhere worthwhile.
What you can do…the only thing you can do…is be yourself.
This may seem a bit touchy-feely or hokey, but there's a practicality to it, too. When you add up the details of your life, what you've struggled with, where you've won and where you've lost, what you've fought for and why - what's mattered to you and why: the exact combination of those things will be unique to you. There might be some crossover with other people, but overall, it will be unique.
This is something I've looked at lately with stories I'm putting together - to not try and second-guess the audience, or what people might like, or to stick to what's been done before. It's far more powerful to figure out personal fears, loves, wins and losses, and to translate THAT stuff into conflicts and stories.
And they'll stand out!
Nobody can be a better you…than YOU.
You have a fine day!
Banes at 12:00AM, March 28, 2019
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