On originality.

I’ve mentioned here before that I want to try writing in different genres. I recently had a good idea for a story that would be quite different to my norm and outside of my usual writing genres. I liked it so much that I started writing it when I should have been working on B&C#3 or my other finished first draft of something completely different.

This week I was on the home straight of the story. It’s only 10 000 words. I thought it was a very original idea. I was really excited by my very original idea.

Towards the end of the story I needed to search online for the name of a mental disorder that the central protagonist of the story could be labelled with. I found what I was looking for. I followed a link to the font of all online knowledge: Wikipedia.

And there I found that my brilliantly original story idea has already been done by a writer called Stephen King. You may have heard of him. He is quite well known.

Naturally, I was a bit disappointed. (Disappointed? I had an apoplectic-rage episode that involved kicking things over and swearing loudly for several minutes without much repetition.)

During reflection in a calmer moment regarding this development, I remembered something I saw a long time ago. Apparently there are only seven plot lines in the world of story telling. So it is quite hard to be original. It made me feel a bit better. I wonder where SK got his idea from, and if it was a brainwave, like mine, whether he looked something up only to discover that someone else got there first.

I resisted the urge to read Mr King’s effort until I’d finished my own. I didn’t want his influence rattling around my head. Now that I have finished mine, I’m going to make myself a coffee, sit in the garden and see what he did with ‘my’ idea. Swine.


16 thoughts on “On originality.

  1. Commiserations. I don’t read S K but would have liked to have read yours. Back to the drawing board.
    Best wishes

    • Thanks, Hilary. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that Stephen King time-travelled to steal my idea. What can you do sometimes? 😦
      Best wishes.

  2. Hello Mr. Tidy, wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the Romney & Marsh series, and especially the Booker and Cash series. I read a lot of mysteries and enjoy stories with a more unusual hero. There are lots of police procedurals although Romney & Marsh are among the best of them. But Booker and Cash are really great because of their uniqueness. Another favorite of mine is the David Mapstone series, he’s a police historian in Phoenix, AZ (can’t recall the authors name at the moment). Great stuff. Strangely, I didn’t care for Acer Sansom at all. Sorry, I guess you can’t win them all. Keep the Booker and Cash and the Romney and Marsh coming, please!

    • Hi, Thanks for taking the time and trouble to leave a comment here.
      I’m always really pleased to learn that the reads are being enjoyed, whichever series. Not heard of the Mapstone series. I shall have a look. I’m always on the lookout for new authors to try.
      B&C#3 is in production. I’ve been distracted lately with other things and need to get back on track.
      Best wishes and thanks again.

    • Francine,
      Thank you. I’m determined to get back to B&C#3 sooner rather than later. I have made a good start on it but life got in the way. News here on the blog when there is something to report.
      Best wishes.

  3. Hiya. Can only say chin up you never know your story could appeal to more people than you think as I myself don’t really like a lot of his books but I do like quite a lot of yours, so I am looking forward to reading yours every one has a different look on mental disorders, so good luck and keep writing goood story’s for all of us… Happy weekend end. Sherley

    Sent from my iPad


    • Hi Sherley,
      Thanks for your message. πŸ™‚ Some you win some you lose. And thanks for your very kind words. You’ve put a grin on my face this morning.
      Have a great day.
      Best wishes.

  4. Hi Oliver I’m half way through the fourth book of the Acer Sansom series Deep State,,riveting as usual ,,hope there’s more to follow ,,keep up the good work πŸ‘πŸ‘

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