Search Results for: original

Why Writers Should Never Worry About Originality

The Lazy Author’s 6-Question Guide to Writing an Original Book

Never once have I worried that I might not be writing an original book. Even just saying that kinda sounds like a dirty secret—like maybe the only kind of author who could say such a thing is either one who lacks anxiety enough to care if her stories are original and/or one who lacks integrity enough to check if […]

The #1 Tweak to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The 4 Tweaks to Writing Truly Original Stories and Characters

The process of writing original stories is shrouded in mystery. Occasionally, as part of my daily Writing Question of the Day (#WQOTD) on Twitter and Facebook, I’ll ask, “What makes your story original?” It’s a question that tends to get fewer responses than normal, and the responses I do receive are often nebulous or downright uncertain. […]

The Single Best Trick for Originality in Your Fiction

The Single Best Trick for Originality in Your Fiction

This week’s video shares the most important question you can ask yourself about originality in your fiction and how to access it in every single scene.   Video Transcript: Originality is an important quality test for fiction—although perhaps not quite as much as we like to make out. Pulitzer-winner Willa Cather tells us, There are […]

One Handy Way to Add Instant Originality to Your Fantasy Novel

One Handy Way to Add Originality to Your Fantasy Novel

One of the reasons speculative readers love fantasy is the originality. When reality doesn’t apply, the possibilities for unique characters, worlds, powers, politics (you name it) are endless. But one of the chief complaints of many veteran fantasy readers is that few stories actually provide that sense of originality. (Raise your hand of you’ve ever […]

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The Secret Ingredient of Original Stories

With all the new books published in the last year alone, you kind of have to wonder if maybe everything there is to be said has already been said. With so many new books churning out every day, surely every idea has been done to death. What room is left for original stories? You may […]

The Myth of Originality

The Myth of Originality

All of art is based on a quest for originality. As individuals, we become artists in an effort to highlight new ideas and invent new vantage points through which to view the world. As agents and editors and publishers, we’re seeking the one story the public has never read. And as readers, we’re looking for […]

how to write wildly original stories

How to Write Wildly Original Stories

Ideas swarm from the writer’s brain like bees from a hive. At any given moment, most of us have snippets of inspiration floating around in the netherworld between our conscious and unconscious. Some of those ideas we develop, some we abandon; some will turn out to be gold, some will be trash. We’ll probably never […]

The Role of the Antagonist in Story Structure, Pt. 2 of 2

One way to think about plot is as a “push-pull between protagonist and antagonist.” Although the protagonist is the character who frames and, indeed, decides the story’s structure, the role of the antagonist in story structure is equally important. Last week, I shared an overview of the antagonist’s role in the first five major structural […]

How to Know When You’re a Successful Author?

How to know when you’re a successful author? I suppose almost every writer asks this at some point—and very likely at frequent points. There are multiple ways to define and measure the answer. For many of us, the answer seems come down to commercial success. And yet because commercial success is sometimes elusive, this metric […]

Archetypes and Story Structure: How They’re Connected

By its very nature, story structure is archetypal. It is a pattern we recognize emerging from story. It is a pattern as big as life itself, and therefore one about which we are always learning more, but it is also a pattern we have been able to distill into specific systems that help us consistently […]