we-could-go-home asked: First off, I love your blog! It’s so helpful for an aspiring novelist! I wondered if you had any advice for writers who feel like their ideas might not be original enough or are too similar to other books already published? How should writer’s carry on with their ideas when that fear of being constantly compared hinders them from writing?

Check out our article on similar ideas here.

Writers and their works are constantly being compared to other writers and their works. This is basically unavoidable. You get used to it, and if you’re wise, you take it as a compliment.

Though we all strive to be original, originality is highly overrated and overvalued. There is a great deal more merit in writing originally than in writing something original, and a great deal less delusion as well. A cursory perusal of TVTropes.org will instantly alert you to the sometimes terrifying truth: Truly original ideas are scarce. We all have more in common with our fellow writers than most of us are willing to admit.

On a related note, don’t be afraid to “steal”, or to use another’s great idea as the springboard for your own great ideas. As a reminder that even (especially) the greats “steal” ideas, check out this photoset of quotes.

Thank you for your question!

-C


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    After taking a brief tour of TVTropes recently, I see now just how true this is. Without knowing it, I was using many of...
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  17. ardenrye said: Just to add: I heard in one of my high school classes that Orson Scott Card felt J.K. Rowling was using his idea to write about an orphan boy who goes to a special school and discovers his own potential. Talk about tropes.