Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

Original Plot – Is this an Oxymoron?

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Hello there bookish friends!, I have a little controversial topic for you guys today.. it has to do with originality in our stories.. Does it exists, or is it just wishful thinking on our part? Let’s play a game for the sake of this post… Name me a book about a princess assassin, or about a rebellion to free a kingdom, or maybe about a space crew searching for an important artifact… I’m almost certain that you came up with not one nor two but  maybe half a dozen books that fit along those criteria… Am I right??

It seems that nowadays one story blends into another so frequently that at times it’s hard to even tell them apart.. It has certainly happened to me.. I would get confused about which series I was actually reading..

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t exactly a complain because, to be honest, a lot of the time I look for that same similarities to find books that might appeal to me..Whether it’s about a rebellion, magic school’s shenanigans or this and that… Even if the plot is most likely used a thousand times over.. the characters are unique in their own way or the writing style is a work of art that manages to set the book apart..

But in spite of not being truly bothered by the same trends and tropes and that lack of originality.. I do wonder if we can really find something truly unique?.. I’m sure it’s possible, and yet it seems like a daunting task because everything is in high or low scale inspired by something else… Magic systems will often remind us of Harry potter or the Lord of the Rings.. Space Odyssey will reference Star Wars without a doubt, and more recently any rebellion or fight for a kingdom will bring us to Game Of Thrones..

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So, you see, this inspirations will bring about this sense of sameness in what we read .. just as if everything is a copy of a copy… Plus we must take into account what is popular at the time because let’s not forget that we are talking about a business and Authors have to eat just like everyone else and for that they need to sell their books and popular trends help with that.. whether we like it or not..

I guess in a way having lots of similar plots isn’t a terrible catastrophe because it  helps readers like me to find things that go along the same lines of our favorite books and I do understand that we might have a few bumps on that road with books that are not just similar to another but are basically just crap… But as for this it can easily happen with a “truly original Plot” it can also be Crap to many of us… I have been there also, thinking that I had struck gold with a never read before story and ended up wanting my money back…

So originality is one thing but Quality is another and in my case I prefer the latter even if I have read the story a thousand times before.. if it’s good I don’t mind..

What do you think about this topic?? Do you look for the Original plot unicorn?? Let me know all about it in the comments below..

As Always

Happy Reading

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14 thoughts on “Original Plot – Is this an Oxymoron?

  1. What an interesting topic! I honestly don’t think there’s original plots anymore. At their core, there hasn’t been since the days of Shakespeare, maybe even earlier. I think what makes them fresh is the angle, the twist, and the flavour that each author can provide.

    The example that comes to mind is Grim Lovelies. I won’t spoil it, but essentially, it’s a bunch of animals that were turned human to serve a witch. On the surface it doesn’t sounds like anything I’ve read, but when you start digging in there are strong likenesses to Cinderella, and Harry Potter. Yet, that book stood on its own and felt very original.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And it’s not always taking from somewhere else, either. J.K. Rowling isn’t the only person who ever came up with the concept of a school for magic. From this point forward, anyone who tries will be ‘copying’ her, but that’s not always going to be true. A bunch of people can come to the same conclusions independently. It happens all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that my favorite books have trope mashups. Like, a trope twisted on its head. For some reason I thought of The Name of The Wind when you mentioned originality, but that may just be because I don’t read a lot of adult fantasy, so I wouldn’t recognize the popular trope in that genre. But I like how it’s about an orphan character (trope) but he doesn’t follow the usual path of either being in total poverty, or suddenly becoming ridiculously wealthy. He builds himself up and actually has to deal with his changing identity.

    I love this post because it really got me thinking of the most original book I’ve read. I think what makes it really difficult though, is that as soon as an original comes along, someone copies it. So the story is only original for a short while. But I’m gonna keep thinking about this because there has to be *SOMETHING* out there…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, I think there’s not a whole lot of originality out there but havung said that, I’m definitely a creature of habit. I mean, I’ve been an avid reader of romance novels for essentially my whole life and I’ve always found “new” stories to tease my imagination!! Great topic!💕

    Liked by 1 person

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