Last year, I wrote a blog post on coming up with story ideas. However, since that time, I’ve had many writers ask me for advice on coming up with original story ideas. Oftentimes, they have no trouble coming up with an idea for their stories, but after researching their idea they realize it sounds similar to other books or movies that have already been published and are successful. Therefore, how do we, as writers, come up with original story ideas that have never been written about before?
The truth is you can’t. It’s impossible. Honestly, every single character, world, arc, trope, etc. has been done before. Therefore, the goal isn’t to come up with an original story idea. Instead, the goal is to mold familiar concepts and story ideas into original and unique ideas that are new and fresh.
That starts with throwing away the fear of plagiarism. We’re all unique individuals. If you give twenty individuals the exact same story prompt, each person’s novel is going to turn out differently. Plagiarism can only occur if you intentionally copy another person’s work word for word. So, don’t be afraid to write about fairies, chosen ones, or to include an anti-villain that echos Darth Vader or Magneto.
Instead think of original concepts and use your imagination to make your characters unique. Change things around, keep asking “what-if,” and throw in plot twists or subplots to keep your readers guessing. Ultimately, be you. Write the things you want to write the way you envision them - honestly, you’re the only one that can.
I hope this blog post was helpful in helping you come up with original story ideas. If you have any other questions or additional tips, please leave them in the comments down below!