Friday, June 15, 2012

Fitting in is cliche

Besides writing, I am an artist, and something keeps sticking out to me as I try to make something of my art. As I'm learning from other artists and looking around the web to see what's 'IN', what's 'HOT' right now, I see a trend: People trying to copy someone else.

Now, I don't hold a grudge against these people. Heck, this is what I've been doing my whole life. It's how we learn. Mimicking others is how we get better. And there are people out there being incredibly creative and unique.


When it comes time for us to sell our artwork, or write a stand-alone novel, get published for the very first time--we need to stand out. Be unique.

It's so easy to fall into the pit of 'hey, this is selling, I'm jumping on the bandwagon'. Or, 'everyone loves this style right now, I'll try it.' Or topic-or character-type-or-or-or-OR.

Frankly, there are enough Vampire/Fey/Dystopian/Morphing-into-whatever-I-can-think-of-at-the-moment-books that I think we're all ready for a change. Am I right? Now, I'm not going to turn this into a hate post where I rant over whoever is doing the above. I have been sucked into those books myself. I think many of us have. Which is why everyone keeps trying the same thing. Some of them are pretty darn awesome. But do we really want to try and make our story-that is like everyone else's-work? Or do we want to do something no one has thought of and stick out that way?

So, this is what I've been thinking about on my hiatus. How to become original. There is a point at which you can't 'reinvent the wheel', but there are ways to keep things fresh. And I think it takes a lot of training to keep yourself from falling into the same old thing.

One thing that helps me (and I'm sure you've heard people say this before) is come up with your plot, come up with a few ideas, make it great, then come up with something better. Something unexpected. It can be a plot twist that people aren't expecting. It could be that you change something major about your MC or supporting characters that makes the story all the more richer and different. Maybe take your character out of their setting and think of a whole new place for the story to take place.

Don't be afraid of writing about something that doesn't come natural, or that you don't have a lot of experience in. This is how we grow. Research is our friend. Become a friend of your local library. That's my goal this month. Or maybe next =). But at lest I've made one. What are you goals?


Tanesha-Marie said...

I really love this post :) I am a writer, blogger etc I have written short stories and am trying to write my own noval but often find it difficult to find time but your post has inspired me to be more motivated-thank you and good luck with your writing :)

Tanesha x

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Thanks Tanesha! I'll have to check out your blog. Good luck to you, too!