Why you need to reinvent ‘the wheel’ to be a writer

Remember back in 2016 when you read that fantasy novel about the princess and the dragon? Or that romance novel where the lady falls in love with her brothers best friend?

You do? Great, it’s been three years and you want to write a book similar to that but you’re worried about plagiarising, you’re worried about lawsuits and charges that are twice your apartment rent?

Reinvent the wheel, rewrite it. Use that story trope to tell a story, to tell your story. That fantasy about the princess and her dragon, who is the princess to you? Why does she bond so well with her dragon? Has she always wanted a dragon and was gifted one as her wedding present? And what about the romance with the girl and her brother’s best friend? What does he mean to this girl? Is she suffering from a great loss and he just happened to be there for her?

A trick I learned writing is that a writers copyright is limited to direct plagiarism, that said, the tropes you fell in love with could be added elements in your fantasy novel. The girl who was gifted a dragon for her wedding present, was she filing for a divorce when she found her heart thundering for her brothers best friend? Was she deliberating returning the dragon to her soon to be ex-husband? Was that when she met her brother and his best friend for the first time in a long time?

Asha Dornfest has advised new writers to tell their story even if it has been told. Feel free to explore your writing, you’re not limited to a single genre, in fact, the best books are books that implement bits of every genre. Exploration in writing isn’t also limited to steering clear of tropes you fell in love with while reading a Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks novel. Pick them out, break them apart and piece them together in your own way, not only will you develop a deeper understanding of that trope, you might like what you create.

What was the last book you read? Were there any tropes that sparked the warmth of inspiration in you? Was this article helpful? I want to hear your feedback, let’s talk.

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