“It’s déjà vu all over again”

Ah, the great philosopher Yogi Berra, he had a way with words. But this is how I am feeling while plotting my NaNoWriMo story.

boromirI have decided to write a “real” world fantasy story, real in the sense of no magic or non-human sentient life. At it’s basic level it is a story of a young man who finds out the value of hard work, while another has to over come treachery from those he should be able to trust.

But hasn’t this story been told before?

Ok, maybe not in the same story, but Frodo had to over come the treachery of Boromir and others that should have been on his side? How could I possible tell a similar tale when a master like Tolkien has already told it?

Part me says, so what, what story hasn’t been told yet. If I feel my characters are original enough and the setting is interesting enough, why not tell me story even if it is similar to so many others that have been told.

So this brings me back to my post title and a question for all you writers that happen by this:

Should you shy away from a story line if it has been done before?

Or, can you tell a story that has been told before, as long as you put your own unique point of view?

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4 thoughts on ““It’s déjà vu all over again”

  1. I say go for it! — if you agonize over the originality of your plot too much, chances are the rest of the story will suffer

  2. “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
    ― Jim Jarmusch

    The familiar bits of stories are how you draw people in, make them feel safe and make them trust you. That base isn’t just okay, it can be incredibly useful, offering a foundation from which you can then jump off and explore your own ideas. Have fun, and go for it!

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