If I had a Boat

Monday, April 21, 2014

Something New Out of Nothing New

What I've noticed lately with new books coming out is that everyone is trying so hard to be completely new and different than the other person who just had their story published. They're all trying to up one another.
Everyone wants to be the latest phenomenon. Who can come up with the strangest, most addictive new story? But what I think -- and you might think this as well -- is that the older stories are the better stories.
I like merry-go-rounds. And Ferris wheels and hot air balloons.
There's nothing original about them, is there?
Oh, but there is. If you choose to write about a hot air balloon, or at least where a hot air balloon
 is a vital point in the story, then you are making something small and ordinary that someone probably didn't ever think about writing into a whole new story. Who would've thought that a hot air balloon could save a prince living deep beneath a magical castle? (Crazy idea, I know. I'm thinking off the top of my head here.)
The prince under the magical castle isn't original at all. It's an older story.

But it's an older story that I like very much.

Why do you think fairy tales are so popular? Why do you think the ideas of vampires (as foul as those stories are now) are so popular? Because they're old stories.
So don't try to write something overly clever because, in reality, people -- I -- love the old stories. The timeless ones. The truly clever stories that will make a mark on the writing world! 


  1. Something to remember when rewriting fairy tales- or anything, really. There's a verse that says there is nothing new under the sun, and it's true. So many different stories can be created by using the old, but just because yours is newer doesn't make it better. It makes it unique, yes, but that does not make it an improvement on what was already just fine. It is just another addition to be loved.

    And, lol, love the prince and the hot air balloon idea. :-)

    1. Absolutely right, Grace! I seem to recall that you're writing a fairy tale re-telling...which is it?

      You may steal the prince and hot air balloon...I actually think you could make a pretty cool story out of that! lol

    2. I think it would, too. Going to have to tuck the idea in my mind for later use if the need arrives.
      I'm rewriting my "Five Glass Slippers" contest entry, so it's Cinderella. I also have a bucket full of ideas for other retellings, including Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and Thumbelina. But they'll have to mostly wait until I finish my version of Cinderella. :-)

  2. I love the old stories as well. Nothing satisfies like a classic in my opinion! :)

    1. No indeed! Classics are the way to go :)