Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Epihanies Big and Small by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Ideas are everywhere.  We writers often discover an idea for a story in a most unlikely place.  In the shower.  On a walk.  Cleaning out a closet.  Discovering a forgotten family heirloom.  Anyone with an over active imagination can come up with an idea for a story.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, as the saying goes.  Just ask any would-be inventor.

Since well before the industrial age, people have come up with original gadgets they hoped would do things better.  Or make life easier.  Provide fun or enhance our lives.  There are hundreds of thousands of patents for new and improved things.  But on the way to these product successes, just as many "flops" go unrecorded.

So it goes with our writing ideas.  That idea that excited us before we went to bed, turned out to be like so many stories already written, once examined under the light of day.  The friendship story?  Done.  Coming of age?  Also done. And done.  So many ideas seem to be anything but original.

My point?  My own epiphany: As someone has often said, when it comes to ideas, there are no new ones. EVERY story has been told.

Except.  OUR OWN STORY.  Our own telling of the universal truths.  Our own spin on the classic tale.  We authors bring a unique experience and perspective to an idea.  HOW we tell the story is what makes the difference.

2 comments:

  1. So true! Thank you for reminding me of that, Darlene!

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  2. EXACTLY. It used to drive me NUTS to hear about a book publishing that sounded a little like something I was working on. But I was always shocked, when I got those books, how different they were from my own. Our voices, the way we stitch a story together--THAT makes a book unique.

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