Okay, wait, is originality a word? If it isn’t then it should be.
In any case, I’ve been thinking about the topic for a while now, mulling it about in my head. In some ways, everything we do is original. When I write a story it is the first time that I personally have written it in my own unique voice. And yet, after several millennia, is there anything truly unique to say? We share the same human fears, traumas, joys and anger and, like it or not, we have explored these emotions ad nauseum for years.
So everything is unique and not unique – at the same time.
That said, as a writer, I don’t like to get stuck in a rut. I have several favorite authors, but over time I noticed that the characters never varied, never changed, even across separate series of works. It was as if they had taken out the same brush, with the same color paint, and followed an endlessly repeating template to produce their books.
After a while, I realized, “They are all the same, there’s no difference between story lines other than changing the names and basic circumstances of the characters. One author (which I will not name) wrote entirely of characters who were highly intelligent, had biting dialogue, and were completely and totally dysfunctional individuals.
I am pretty much convinced that this was a reflection of the author’s own life and family models.
I mentioned recently on my erotic romance site that I prefer to write about strong women, I said:
- I would not be writing about weak, simpering, foolish women
- I would not be writing about women who had no clue what they wanted
- I would not be writing about unequal relationships – where the big strong man rescues a timid, helpless girl of a woman
But I understand that that can be one-sided as well. There are strong women and there are weak women and everything in between. I have not ruled out writing about weak women, just don’t look for those chicks to show up in my erotic romance novels anytime soon!
Another thing that has been bopping in and out of my left and right hemispheres lately has been the urge to write poetry again. I haven’t written it in a long time but I kind of miss it. So I might be writing more soon. I doubt I will be posting it, I rarely post poetry, it tends to be a handwritten in the journal type of affair. Don’t know why, it just is.
When it comes to the pursuit of originality though, I rule nothing out. I might not choose to write a certain way right now, but that doesn’t mean I never will. All things in good time, right?