Monthly Archives: September 2013

Unique to Me, Same to You

Is it possible to create a truly original story? Something that no one else has thought up and written down? A story that bears no resemblance to anything else you’ve read? I think you’d be hard pressed to find something truly unique.

Romance stories definitely follow a formula. Meeting, falling in love, conflict and happy resolution. Mysteries, while they may vary in the format of killing, theft or otherwise, still come out the same in the end. Fantasies and science fiction might show you something different on occasion but it still ends up feeling the same. Some sort of quest, maybe over several books, and then a… Well, if not happy, they come to some kind of ending. Except for A Song of Ice and Fire. That series might never end. 🙂

I often wonder, even as I’m writing something new for me, if someone out there has already written what I have. And maybe done it better. The question that then follows is, should I even bother to keep writing?

Well, of course I will. I enjoy writing just for the simple mechanics of it, as well as crafting a story that I would like to read myself. I enjoy experimenting with different points of view and formats, and writing in different genres. I still prefer writing romance overall, though I still don’t quite know why. I think it’s the ‘safest’ genre for me, if I want to put it that way. Yes, romance are all the same in their basic concepts, but it’s still a hugely popular genre and a billion-dollar a year industry. So… Same or not I’ll keep doing it. Plus, I just love a good romance.

Maybe if I read in a few more genres, branched out a bit, I might find more unique offerings. I already mentioned George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. There’s also Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. I’ve never come across anything else like that. Maybe there’s more variety in murder mysteries and horror. I just don’t have any interest in reading those. Tough for me to make a call on that.

So back to my original question. How does a writer move past the question of being truly original? Should a writer even attempt to be truly original? Each writer has to decide for themselves, I suppose.

My own biggest problem is not creating a story unique from everything else published out there. It’s writing something that’s unique from my own stories. I’ve written quite a few of the hockey-themed romance stories, as you may already know. I have plans and ideas for several more but I suppose I’ve hit a bit of a block with actually writing them. I don’t know if it’s because I can’t find a somewhat original way to write them, or if I’m bored of the series. I don’t think it’s that, though, now that I’ve written it. I still love hockey and love to romanticize it in any way I can, even though the hockey players are probably less than romantic in real life. 😉 Hey, that’s what romance and stories are for, right? Entertainment and fantasy!

When I branch out into other genres, I end up writing something that feels unique and brand new to me. Obviously. Like “Body of Water” and “Bring on the Wonder”. Those were two wholly new works for me and in all honesty, I’ve never read anything like them. Of course, they’re stories in genres that I don’t typically read, so the other readers of those genres can be the judge of that. But I suppose that’s how I exercise my brain and writing skills when I worry about being original. I start by being original to me, and then maybe it’ll shake something loose for my other stories.

Like I said before, I’m going to keep writing whatever I feel like. Sometimes it’ll be well-received, and other times, maybe not so much. But if negative reviews stopped me, I probably would never have progressed beyond my very first. And my second-grade teacher gave me a glowing review so maybe I got lucky!

Take care and happy reading!

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Solstice Sunday

Well, here we are. Autumn has returned and the leaves are changing. And – Lucky me! – I have my first head cold of the season. It sucks. I spent most of yesterday laying on the couch watching TV. I didn’t even feel like reading, that’s how crummy I felt. I woke up this morning feeling somewhat better and thought I’d get on here to write some fantastic, attention-grabbing blog entry.

Alas, it is not meant to be.

I think I’m going to spend another day doing almost nothing. 🙂 Doctor Who is on, as it has been for the past several Sundays, so I have that. I might feel a bit more like writing later, but any time I get the urge to write these days is scarce. I may get a big enough burst of energy later to go grocery shopping since I’m very low on a few things.

Nothing else to report. Hopefully my sinuses start to clear up soon. I dislike feeling so foggy! I hope everyone’s doing well out there.

Until next time, take care and happy reading.

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Fantasy Worlds

When I left home this morning to go grocery shopping, there was a fine cool mist hanging over everything. It was awesome. It filtered the sunlight, giving everything a sort of pinky-yellow glow. I live in a big city but the mist was so low over everything that most of the city seemed to disappear. All I could see were the tops of the surrounding trees on the hills, making it feel like I was in a small town up in the mountains.

It also made me feel like I should stop, sit down and start writing a fantasy story. 🙂 Strange as that sounds, it’s what always comes to mind when the weather is a perfect combination like that. I wrote a lot during the weekends I used to camp with my family. Mornings in the mountains and various other spots around southern Alberta were usually misty or cloudy. You only had a few hours, sometimes less, to enjoy the insulated quiet and the muted light.

When I was younger, I wrote fantasy stories almost exclusively. I used to not want to do research of any kind, so by writing fantasy, I could make up the facts of my fictional world as I went along. Little did I know that often, fantasy worlds were more detailed than others. 🙂 Still, fantasy is my first love. I used to read everything fantastical I could get my hands on. Somewhere around age eleven, I discovered Diana Wynne Jones.(hands-down the best children’s/young adult fantasy writer in recent history. In my opinion anyway.)

I still have a lot of my writing from my early teen years. A lot is incomplete, of course. I didn’t have the discipline to finish everything I started. Ha! Who am I kidding? I still don’t have enough discipline to finish it all. I often consider revisiting my old fantasy worlds and trying to polish them, make them more mature. It’s among my list of things to do. 🙂

However, I do feel the urge now to work on my more recent creation. I started a fantasy story a few weeks ago and I’ve been working on it more than anything else these days. I am aiming to keep it relatively short – by short, I mean less than 60000 words. Hm… 😉 I am enjoying writing in the fantasy realm though, making it up as I go along. I’ve since learned to keep notes so I don’t contradict myself. One thing I always had fun doing for these stories is creating a map. I don’t know why, but it’s just fun to draw some crazy-shaped continent, throw in some rivers and mountains and then write about my characters riding all over the place. I’m a nerd, I know.

I’ll leave you now, so I can go work on it. Hopefully I’ll have something ready to share soon, especially if I can keep it short and sweet. 🙂

I hope you’re all having a nice weekend. I’m feeling much better than I was last weekend, that’s for darn sure. My mouth is still healing but I’m not nearly as sore and sick as I was. I’m in perfect shape for writing all day!

OH! Before I forget, to those of my readers in Canada, if you’re a Doctor Who fan, they’ve started showing a Doctor Who marathon today on the Space Channel. They started at the beginning of the 9th Doctor and every Sunday they’re showing every Doctor Who episode! It’s AWESOME!

OK, now I’m done.

As always, take care and happy reading!

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Pain and Ice Cream

Hello.

I’m only stopping by to say that I won’t be writing much this week. I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday morning and I’m sore. And distracted by being sore. And hungry because all I can manage to eat is soft or liquid crap and that means nothing filling or remotely satisfying, like a big greasy burger or a large pizza. *sigh* But I do love ice cream. Having a milkshake for dinner the other night was the highlight of my week. 🙂

Anyway, I’m feeling somewhat better today. Yesterday wasn’t pretty. I am super sensitive to general anesthesia. My body reacts by making me vomit. Repeatedly. For about 24-30 hours following the procedure. TMI? Sorry. 😀 It’s all done now. Now I’m back to just wanting a big meal.

Moving on, I hope everyone is having a nice long weekend. I’m going to indulge in some more ice cream, pudding and popsicles and then sleep in tomorrow.

Take care and happy reading.

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