We don’t want to accidentally plagiarize, do we?
We don’t want to see striking similarities between our works and those that we’ve viewed and read before, do we?
How do we avoid it? How do we write original stories with our own stylistic flare? Well, because I’m hungry, you get a cheeseburger analogy today. You’re welcome.
How Your Brain Works
First things first: You brain will inherently use ideas it is familiar with. Your brain doesn’t know any better. It’s like if you order a cheeseburger, your brain gives you hamburger, buns, and cheese. Those are the ingredients it knows how to use. It doesn’t know you wanted something fresh and new.
The Magic of Inspiration is Unreliable
Sometimes original ideas jump out of the nether and deliver themselves to us on silver platters (with a sprig of parsley garnish and yellow tomatoes), but most of the time, being creative and original is hard work. You have to really think about what makes a cheeseburger (book/story). What do people expect? How can you give them something new and unexpected?
Don’t Invade Russia (And Don’t be McDonalds)
Be aware of what already has been done. Know the cliches, know the contrived plot twists, and know what your audience expects of you. Feel like invading Russia on foot? May I refer you to Napolean and Hitler. Go out and try as many cheeseburgers as possible. What do you like? What did you find boring? What made you go I want to be that
author fry cook when I grow up?
Work Hard to Seem Spontaneous
Surprise yourself! If you write the story you expected to write, then there’s something fundamentally scripted about it. I’m not saying anything against creating an outline; making an outline simply necessitates that you come up with most of the interesting new ideas early on. I’m saying that regardless of when you plan your story, you need to always be aware of what you expect of yourself. Know where you want to go. While writing, keep asking the question: what would make this even more interesting and exciting?