Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Not About the Idea

The BLOG TOUR begins! Today I travel all the way to the UK, where I'm guesting with Thea and Ana, The Book Smugglers.

It’s Not About the Idea
I often hear from young writers despairing because they can’t come up with a totally new and unique idea. All the good ideas are taken, they say.
Here’s a secret: it’s not about the idea. It’s about the execution. Really, it is. All writers stand on the shoulders of other writers. Fantasy tropes persist because they work so well in story.
Wise old wizard mentor, anyone? Think Merlin. Think Gandalf. Think Dumbledore. Think Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Vampires keep coming back (ha!) because they’re scary and primitive and hot. Stephenie Meyer achieved extraordinary success with a new take on an old premise. Though she was pilloried by some for departing from vampiric convention, resulting in hilarious debates about whether “real” vampires could be “sparkly” or go out in the daylight.
Who made the vampire rules?
J.K. Rowling was not the first author to write about wizards. It was what she did with the premise that made her books so successful. Fortunately for us, there’s no copyright on wizardry.
There, now. Pressure’s off about the idea. Pressure’s on about the execution.
So how do you make a story your own?
On to The Book Smugglers for the rest. 

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