How you can write your own original story with your own fresh ideas.
Anyone can write an original story. It is often said that we all the same story, but there is always something peculiar to us, and that is the thing makes our story original. There is a little merit to the notion that new ideas don’t exist. Actually that is a characteristics of a lazy writer, and a rather flimsy excuse for copying another person’s work. Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with imitation, after all it is funniest form of flattery. Original story have a voice of its own, and to a reader it is a breath of fresh air. Readers pay attention to hear the voice of an author. So an ardent reader can guess who authored a book by reading a few passages from the main content. In other word, originality is the indelible marker that imprints a story in the minds of readers.
In my opinion, readers will benefit a lot from an original story, as opposed to an imitation or refurbished story. My attitude would have been that of indifference, but for the impact great original books have had on me. The fact is that my own short story, The Smoke Writer wouldn’t have materialized, save for those burnt candles, and broken lantern discarded reading great books. How can one forget those classic like Eze goes to school, Things Fall Apart or Arrow of God?
Reading is one of my mother’s hobby, and she would recommend any good book she read. Although it was her expectation that we read, she didn’t force us to, but she neither listened to excuses for not doing so. Therefore, it was no coincidence that she reserved some of her best stories for holiday seasons. Thanks to her, I read, and watched George Orwell’s Animal farm, even before I realized how globally acclaimed it was.
Original stories can inspire others. I remember one evening, we had finished dinner and were chilling at the verandah, enjoying the smell of roasted corn from a neighboring vendor. It was in that atmosphere that my mother first told us about Kumin-rikuku, a book she recently read. I later read the book, and saw for myself the protagonist, whose tortured character till today remains my personification of “vengeance”. That I dedicated a whole chapter of my book to vengeance was not an accident.
At the end of the day, this piece would tantamount to a mere recitation of nostalgia, if I fail to share factors that helps with writing an original story.
First of all, understanding the difference between evolution, and imitation is the first step in creative writing. It doesn’t matter how many times a story has been told, re-telling it from your perspective is one way of creating your own original story. The Star Wars series, and saga remains very popular, because each edition is an evolution of the former. ( Star Wars Boxed Set: Episodes I-VI).
Secondly, don’t focus on the words count. It is better to write a short, and an original story of your own, than to write a long collection of lines from other peoples’ work. If you must flatter a writer, go to his or her page and pour your heart out. Who wouldn’t appreciate that? As opposed to someone finding traces of his work, published under your name. Short stories genres are growing in popularity, who knows, maybe we are becoming lazier. But in a world where news is faster than food, few people wants to read a cyclopedia in the name of a novel. A lot of people would prefer to read a short, and enticing story.
Thirdly, remember that necessity is the mother of invention. Invent facts to personalize, and add originality to your story. Let your imagination run wild, design facts for your characters. That is the main difference between a fiction and a non-fiction. Although cautious is advice, to avoid crossing that thin line between creativity and madness. There is an unwritten rule about keeping fictions closer to the realm of reality.
My last advice is that you create a character from a part you. Your talent will manifest mostly in the characters in your story. To a significant extent, your characters will define your writing. I wouldn’t have remembered anything about Kumin-rikuku, had it not been for the vengeance seeking protagonist, who gave his life for justice. If you can illustrate your protagonist perfectly, you would leave imprints in the minds of your readers.
In conclusion, believe that you can create your own original story. Creative writing is not a skill reserved for the talented few. American novelist, Professor James Hynes, in his work, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques, illustrates how we all can achieve great writing. You can be successful, but I recommend his book, as a guide to writing your own original story.