It is very hard to come up with a genuinely new idea. I've tried. I wrote them down. Then I read or watched TV...sorry. Not only were they proven not new- sometimes quite old, but they were used to far better effect than I would have.
I guess the only thing to do is bring a new perspective or insight on an old topic. No one writes new things anyway, right? Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Robert Jordan's 'The Wheel of Time'... All these works are very popular, but the general plot is never new. But they have brought to us a new perspective on things. When reading, one clearly sees references that can be described as the literary poaching of other older authors, myths, religious icons, real life events, etcetera, etcetera. But did they have a choice? After three thousand plus years of art and story telling, there is nothing new under the sun.
So what to do? What draws people to a good story? I made a list, but it kept going and going. Many things inspire us at different times in our lives, but all those things have one thing in common; they grab our emotions. Joy, fear, hatred, shock, love, surprise, COMEDY. Great stories are one in which we find ourselves emotionally connected to. An emotional investment with great returns, we get something back from such stories that make us value them as much as any other great life experience.
The moral of writing lesson number one...there are good stories and bad stories, but there is no perfect story. Relax.
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