For a while now, a blur of thoughts have constantly been at the back of my mind. Is what I’m writing creative, original, unique? Is it special? What makes it worthy of being read and liked by others? Is it just another story that anyone could have invented and told?
Since I’ve been reading modern science fiction and fantasy more, I have grown more and more aware of the fact that the same ideas are used across multiple books. I’m not talking about the broad “it’s all been done before” and “there is no originality anymore” ideas. Sure, boy meets girl, girl is a kick-butt superhero and saves the day, etc., may have been done before, but that isn’t what I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about specific things. Vampires and strong, nice, and can be in the sun, type of things. Okay, that one was too easy. I just read a sci-fi book in December, for instance, that has this scene in a clone-keeping facility. If you’ve ever seen The Island (2005) before, then you basically know this whole scene already and would be grimacing and digging your fingernails into your palms the entire time you read it.
There were loads of other things in the book that had been done before. She had fake nature imagery on walls like what was done in Soylent Green (1973).
Silent Green’s poster is much cooler than The Island’s. Anyway, no, I do not consider the mention of these wall-panel-nature-viewing-things as a shout out to older sci-fi. I consider it lazy, and just like the rest of her novel, bad. If the book wasn’t packed with references to stuff that other authors and filmmakers have done before, it would be empty. I mean it. There is almost nothing original about the science fiction parts of the story.
I didn’t mean to complain about something someone else wrote for so long. I meant to complain about my own problems, lol.
I keep getting stuck on these ideas of creativity and originality in my stories. I’m not trying to invent the wheel or anything, but I also don’t want to simply rip off other peoples ideas, changing the character names and dialogue, and call it mine.
Part of the problem is I know several of my story ideas are worthy of being written or worthy of being edited and polished because I know already that they have those wonderful elements of originality and creativity. But I’m not working on any of those stories. I’m working on something sort of weird. Something that has it’s unique bits but also is…weird, lol. I’ve got the story, magic system, and invented world worked out, but I still can’t help but doubt the whole things worthiness. Is it worth my time to write? Should I focus on another story that I am more confident about?
Should I stop starting projects only to leave them unfinished while I pursue something else? Yes, definitely. Therefore, I must stick with what I’m working on, right? Bleh. Sometimes I think I have too many ideas. (Sometimes! I also think all my ideas are useless sometimes too, hence why I have so many uncompleted ones).
The point is, I’m rather wishy-washy about my current project(s). Thus, I’m not being very productive, despite having plenty of free time, an incredibly encouraging writing buddy, and a very supportive husband.
Alright, end of whiney post.