Scare Us

I’ve been reading through entries to the Scare Us event over on Lit Reactor and come to a conclusion: it is insanely difficult if not impossible to come up with a truly original idea. Any creative is colored by the things that they have seen, experienced, read, or etc. As a result, there are recurring themes that permeate any given
genre of art that eventually become obvious. The stories are different, have different characters, different settings, and different plots and yet are all similar.

It’s like seeing different mixes of the same ingredients or ratios of colors. They all start with a similar set of base elements—maybe the author picked up a certain distaste for insects, perhaps they watched one too many old Star Trek episode, or maybe they’ve read a little too much Lovecraft lately—and mix them up with just slightly different spices. Not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just frustrating when you want to see something different and suddenly find yourself remembering a monster or character from some other story. The wider read you are, the more likely it is that you will be reading something and suddenly realize that it fits this formula or it’s a monster like that. Then you find yourself judging the present work in light of what you remember about the other one.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that readers are colored by their own experiences more than authors. I can tell you, from personal experience, that I’ve had what looked like a wonderfully unique idea, as a writer, only to discover that someone came up with it fifty years ago. Of course, a good deal of what I like to read is at least that old. ( Ahh the joy’s of a good space opera! I may have to write something in that venue . . .)

So much for that rant! Now if I can only get back to my current projects . . . . ARGH!

~ by Chris on .

Random Thoughts, Reading - The Other Half of Writing, Writings - Fiction

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