Monday, September 19, 2011

Is Originality Dead

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, it occurred to me that today was Monday, and I had yet to come up with a topic for my weekly blog. That kept me up for a bit as I debated what to write about. After finally coming up with an idea, I was able to sleep peacefully. When I woke up this morning, I was all set to write about the topic I'd come up with last night. An email I received from Writer's Digest this morning changed my mind.

Having previously entered a Writer's Digest contest, I'm now a member of their email listing. I don't mind at all as they send lots of good industry tips and tricks as well as contest reminders. The email I received this morning was to let me know the deadline for the annual genre fiction contest had been extended. In that email, they made mention of the void left in young adult novels with the conclusion of the Harry Potter and Twilight series. Being an aspiring young adult novelist, that really got me to thinking about my newest trilogy.

When I wrote a book with the tagline 'what happens when the daughter of a mass murderer falls for the son of Satan?', I truly thought I'd hit upon something original. I couldn't have been more wrong. After I posted the first chapter on Wattpad, one of my scenes drew comparisons to one that takes place in Twilight. I can honestly say I've never read this novel nor seen the movies so I have to take the readers' word for it. The concept was also likened to a novel called Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, another I've never read.

In addition to the first two books of what fans call my Unholy Trilogy, I've also posted the first of my four book vampire series. The basic premise is that a vampire prince falls for a human girl who's destined to be his mate. The twist, or at least I thought it was a twist, is that the story contains both day and night vampires. I realize with the Blade movies the idea of day walking vampires isn't unique, but I didn't realize how similar this idea was to something called Vampire Knight.

These two comparisons have really started me thinking. Has originality become a foreign concept? It seems so if you think about it. Many modern movies are remakes of classics and those that aren't remakes follow a fairly predictable formula. Once in a while something comes along that breaks the mold, but it's few and far between. With that in mind, I'd think the same could be said for novels as well, especially in my case.

Keeping that in mind, I've already started to pen my newest novel. I won't go into any details, not because I fear copyright infringement but because I'm content to keep my illusion that it's an original idea.

Is originality dead? Perhaps not in its entirety, but it seems to have taken a beating over the years!

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