Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Originality: Why it’s a double-edged sword


We’ve all heard people say it. A lot of people dread hearing it and feel that merely hearing the words destroys any hope we have at making our art, or our stories, succeed.

Be Original

Yeah, you’ve heard it; don’t deny it. We all have at some point or another. There’s a problem with this phrase, though. Because honestly, who can truly define what original is? How can we go around and say “That’s original.” or “That’s not original at all.”?

Face it. True originality died a long time ago. Is that to say that everything people write now is bad? Not at all. After all, while the main concepts stay the same, it’s the portrayal and tiny tweaks that matter.

How many published books do you know, from different authors, that focus on vampires? I can name a few and know of a couple dozen. Does that mean they’re all the same and all unoriginal? Of course not. After all, it’s how the authors portray the characters that really brings them to life – vampire or not. That aside, the plots are different and it’s these tweaks that create a refreshing air of originality.

This does not mean that some stories won’t seem like others. Sure, some will. However, there is still originality left in writing and it will never fade, so long as writers think outside the box and bend the rules.

Take a risk and take the plunge. Believe it or not, even if you’re writing a book about something that you swear is unoriginal – it might not be. Keep up the writing and you might find that there’s an entirely different air of originality about.

Originality is a double-edged sword. The edge you hit just depends on how you choose to do things.

Posts may be sporadic (you may have noticed that I missed Sunday’s post) due to the fact that I’m on holiday. Fear not! I’ll be back.

Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

4 thoughts on “Originality: Why it’s a double-edged sword

  1. In the twangy words of Patti Griffin “Someone will say what’s been said before”. I have a sense of understanding that even when I feel I’m writing at my best, coming up with “new” concepts, and letting that creativity flow, some part of what I’m writing has been influenced by something already put out into the world: a book, a comedian’s style, a conversation had. It definitely is how you take what has influenced you and mold it into something in your own voice. Great post!

  2. Reblogged this on 8BIT.

  3. George Bernard Shaw once said that it was impossible for a play to be totally original, any more than a tree could grow in thin air.And I think this is true of all fiction- all art. We are all influenced by the past, and artists who have gone before us (the soil); but we can still add something new.

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