Saturday, September 5, 2009


Yesterday I poo-poo'd originality.  I was of course referring to originality of theme, basic structure, and elemental plot.

Freshness is a different animal, and one that I think is important.  Styling prose, dialog, humor, details, pacing, and point of view to make the work feel spontaneous and relevant can give new life to the oldest stories.

It's also very hard to accomplish without getting trite or in the way of the story.

I'm going to do some thinking about it, and I'd love to know what you think makes writing seem fresh to you.

1 comment:

  1. As long as humans are human (and they've been that way a long time now without letting up) they will do the same things over and over again, and look for fictions that reflect those things. The furniture of fiction doesn't change--indeed, it *can't* change. And if it does, we will have bigger things to worry about.

    All of this is a long way of saying that all I can really look for in terms of "originality" is P.O.V., eloquence, humor and poise. There is nothing new under the sun, but the authentic perception/representation of those familiar things is where originality springs.

    Everyone loves and everyone hates, but never in quite the same way. Its both universal and personal. The writer who can key into that, dig under the surface, and find a way to re- contextualize the familiar is an "original" writer.

    Write honestly about what you care about and, more often than not, you will be original where it counts.