How Original Is Your Story?

We often read on agents’ blogs, “The story wasn’t original. Seen it a million times before.” While all plots are forms of stories that have been told in the past, you still need some kind of edge, something that’ll make the reader want to read your version of this tale. Maybe you have a different twist or an unusual character in your story that makes it compelling. Or maybe it’s your voice that intrigues the reader to turn page after page. Whatever the case may be, you need something.

How original is your story? Have you done the research? Have you not only read books in your genre but searched for stories similar to yours and compared them to your plot and character ensemble? If you haven’t, you might want to consider adding this to your “To Do” list.

Coming up with something original but not too “out there” can be tricky. Sometimes writers blend genres to try to accomplish this. Some are successful but many flop. Other times, writers will come up with odd characters in hopes that will seem original. Well, odd can be original, but you don’t want to go overboard. You have to find a nice balance between what’s been done, what hasn’t, and what’s acceptable.

Awareness is key. Do your homework and know how your story stands up in the world of publishing.

What are some of the tricks you use to make your story original?

Lynnette Labelle

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