Is there a such a thing as a new conflict or story type? Talk to any English teacher and they will tell you that there isn’t. They’ve all been done before. So why on earth do we keep writing new stories? If you’ve heard my world-building workshop, you know that I talk about fish-out-water stories a lot. A lot of fantasy uses that story type so that the main character is always having things explained to them. We like those stories because we want to believe that someday, somehow, we will be pulled from our mundane world to one of amazement and possibly danger.
But what makes a book or series something everyone loves is the characters and the details. Dave Farland’s newsletter today talked about taking a trope and making it your own. Tolkien did it for elves and dwarves and hobbits. Stephanie Meier did it for vampires. J.K. Rowling did for wizards. This is what makes your story readable over and over again. When you take something and you twist it, tweak it, until it challenges how our minds think about whatever it is. I firmly believe some of the best stories come from the question, “What if…”.
Go forth. Make this world and the world of your writing, your very own.
This is the Novel Mage saying, *POOF*