What is Originality?

Is originality in writing a completely new concept. Or a new view on an existing concept. I would say it is the latter. Nothing is new under the sun, every book has borrowed from somewhere. And so does your work too. 

So, where does creativity come in? In how we display the world, how we explore it. What do we think of it. That is originality, since no person would have the same viewpoint. And this is where we differ. Each writer looks at things differently, would approach certain subjects differently. Otherwise, there would be a lot of ripoffs as it is. Since almost every story has borrowed elements from here and there. 

As such, originality is all about you. Your opinion, your idea of a theme. Even for a retelling, every retelling has its differences. Every retelling examines a story differently. Just look at Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge and A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Those are retellings of the exact same fairytale but they have a lot of differences too. And this is where creativity and originality comes in. 

So, don’t worry about your story idea not being original. Present it your own way, or tackle it at an angle no one else has thought of yet. Regardless of whether it’s original or not it will shine in its own way. 

Even for works that are inspired by many things, think of it this way. You are merely inspired, not extracting plotlines and exact sentences. You can make your own twist, you can change things. Because creativity is found when you insert something of your own and make it fit. 

So, don’t worry about it being original or purely you. It is all about your opinion, the way you see the story and the world. It is basically also an interpretation of a certain work, genre or theme. 

If you have a different view on originality, please leave it down below. Originality, is a rather difficult topic to discuss and I would like to hear your views. 

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2 thoughts on “What is Originality?

  1. Great points! I would argue there already are “a lot of ripoffs as it is.” But that’s just how the industry has gone, favoring the easy path to money. Many agents and publishers like to promote authors and books by saying “if you like Neil Gaiman you’ll like this author” and things like that. Those sorts of comparisons always feel like a warning to me. But I, too, struggle to break free from my influences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here, I do think that sometimes comparing to an author does help me make my choice when I’m reading, since it would tell me whether this author has a style similar to a specific author which I like. But I do want to be known for my work and the way it is original, but comparisons to me sometimes can help me decide a little. And sometimes, those comparisons are on point too.

      Like

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