One of the concerns I hear most often from new writers is they don’t feel their story is original enough.
I get it.
I really do.
Have you ever shared your amazing story and character ideas with your friends and family only to hear something like this:
“Oh, that sounds like this book I read a few months ago.”
“Did you get your idea from that NYT bestseller?”
Or, worse—”Wasn’t that in the book about sparkly vampires?”
Eek! Let’s hope the last one doesn’t ring true. You get my point though, right? It never fails. Someone somewhere has made some version of the same story. And you know what? That’s okay!
Yes, I’m serious. It’s really okay. As long as you aren’t using sparkly vampires of course. #Kidding
Okay, the bottom line is this: there’s only a handful of stories that storytellers everywhere tell over and over and ov—
A character is introduced to a challenge, they face the reality and probably (not always, but usually) run, face a rude awakening, realize the stakes, and take up the cause which pushes the story to the climax where they overtake the antagonist (or not. Thanks a lot, Tragedy. Getting the tissues. *sobs like a baby*).
Regardless of how many twists and turns your story possesses it will ultimately fall into one of seven categories:
- Overcoming the Monster
- Rags to Riches
- The Quest (my favorite!!!)
- Voyage and Return
Or—get your tissues ready.
Now, I’m not saying your story can’t deviate from the basic tenets of each of these plots and even mix and match certain elements from two, three, maybe even a juxtaposition of all of them, BUT at its most basic level your story will boil down to ONE of these as its main plot. So, when someone says “Hey! That idea reminds me of this awesome book (or movie).” Don’t get depressed and give up writing the story. Seriously, don’t!
They aren’t saying you’re unoriginal, they’re saying you’re following the footsteps of greatness.
While all stories share basic features no two stories are identical and no two authors are identical. You will approach the story in an entirely unique way because no one else has told YOUR story before, they’ve only told their versions of the journey.
Call your muse, it’s time to get writing!
Which of these seven categories does your character’s journey fall into? Leave a comment. We’ll select winners at random for Askew swag—that means free ebooks!
I #amwriting. Are you? Go write, Askew!