I missed Inspiration Monday. So, Happy Tuesday.

Inspiration comes from a lot of places. People I know, movies I've seen, TV shows, and of course books. In fact, I'm not sure that I've ever written about any idea that sprang fully formed from my own subconscious. My big WIP took elements from several people I know in real life, (though I doubt they would recognize themselves on paper at this point), concepts from a couple of books I've read, and places I've been. Does that make it unoriginal?  Ehhhhh. They always say there's no such thing as an original idea anymore. It's the reason why tvtropes exists.

What makes the idea and the story work is the way the elements are combined, the little twists you give them, and the way a character evolves from being a caricature of your worst real life enemy into a fully formed, complex, richly nuanced villain. I used to feel bad about blatantly ripping off my favorite stories (you have no idea how many Carrie and Firestarter inspired revenge stories I dreamt up as an adolescent), and for a long time I was afraid that I didn't have the ability to create my own story.

But then I figured out the trick. Take bits and pieces, mix them all up together, and eventually something original(-ish) will come out. Just don't name your bullied, telekinetic teen protagonist Mary. That's a bit obvious.


  1. Some of the best stories have been mish-mashes of other things, placed in a better order.

    Good idea :)

  2. The trick is taking those ideas and making them your own. It sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck!

  3. This is how I think of it, too. There may be no more original ideas, but if we put a lot of ideas together, we can still make original stories.

  4. We Are TvTropes. Your Cultural and Fictional Knowledge Will Be Added to Our Wiki.

    Seriously, I agree with your idea of originality. When I receive a review request, the words 'original/fresh/unique' are red flags.


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