I've been working on Haven for way too long, and every now and again a novel with similar elements crop up (like one called 'Haven' which is being released next year... Now I know I've got to change the title). I guess that everything's been done and nothing's original anymore, but how come people are still devouring novel after novel? I believe it's the spin they put on the familiar.
Here's a quick (and just totally made up) formula for creating an intriguing story:
- Start with the familiar - the audience has to be able to relate, and having something that they know will help hook them.
- Add a spin - something that's never been done, even if the character just has a quirk that will make them stand out from every other character out there.
- Populate the world - more of the familiar, make the characters stand out and break from stereotypes (I hate stereotypical characters, but love the quirky ones)
- Make them suffer - hey, this is where the interest lies (I often think my characters are going to mutiny against me because of the amount of pain I put them through)... it's all worth it
- Enjoy what you write... you can't write a good story if you don't like it.
Do you think there's anything original these days?