I know it’s been a while since I last blogged, but that supposedly mythical Real World has grabbed me by my ears and dragged me up into the air and out of this supposed Fantasy World in which I write.
I’m just kidding. Writing isn’t just something that people living in a so-called ivory tower can do.
Especially with the advent of the internet and a multitude of blogs – just like this one – anyone can write. It means that there’s a hell of a lot more novels floating around, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Of course, you can still write for fun, which I love to do. There are so many pieces that I’ve written in the heat of the moment, instead of focusing on editing my novella, and then discarded into the recycle bin on my laptop the very next day.
So how do you write something unique? Something so captivating, so full of utter fascination and…
First things first: Nothing is truly unique.
I suppose you’ve been told that before.
You’ve probably also been told; “Nothing’s unique, [insert your name here]. You’ve just got to take an old idea and make it your own.”
“But I’ve already got a unique idea,” you respond furiously. “My story about the Vibrating Lizard Man, and the captivating story of the war veteran forced to stop aliens from taking over earth (and it’s not set in the United States), has never been written about before.”
I’m sure you’re correct about the Vibrating Lizard Man. Still, there’s probably googol amount of aliens-invading-earth stories, and at least a quarter would involve a war veteran.
However, that’s not to say ‘War Vet: UFO Confessions’ can’t be published and, within the month, have a movie deal and a huge fan base.
It’s how you make the story unique.
Yeah, yeah, I probably should stop saying the U word.
“So, what do I do now?” I hear you enquire. “I may be procrastinating right now, but I want to hear what your tips are!”
Sadly, there probably isn’t one specific way to make your stories unique. There’s always the gamble of creating an entirely new genre or whatnot – such as J. R. R. Tolkien and science fiction, and Stephen King with modern horror – but you always have the risk of failing spectacularly.
What do you do then?
- Read tips from authors who have made it big. Look up your favourite authors, but don’t take them too seriously. Some say they just wrote their piece and an elf suddenly appeared and BAM! the book was internationally acclaimed.
- Keep writing. Unless the piece is set to harm lives of innocent people, then keep on going. The worst thing that could happen is that your book isn’t an international bestseller.
- Can’t think of how to make your dull story have more oomph? Look around for inspiration – Read more. Stop saying your piece is dull. Writers are always so damn pessimistic.
- Relax! If all else fails, and you still think your fiction is duller than striped pyjamas, don’t despair and throw it out. Read more – I know I said it before, but it bears repeating.
- Finally, some people like sweet and simple. A lot of bestsellers aren’t new or ground-breaking. Remember that most people are afraid of change. A good ol’ fashioned romance or whatnot. Everything has its market.
Whether you want to stand out or blend in, or whether you’re full of crazy new ideas or not, keep on writing.
Read more and write more.
As long as you don’t post advertisements for your unique new ★★★★★ novel every six seconds on Twitter, good luck!