As I was sitting around today trying to come up with a new story idea – I kept running into the same roadblock. I prefer to write fantasy. The problem is that every time I thought of a new character, I would go over the details and realize, ‘yeah, that’s been done before.’
Every time I came up with a new story line, I would go over the details and think, ‘yeah, that was done in this book… or that was done in this movie… or they did that on that television show…” Pretty much every character, every story has been told in one form or another. All stories, for the most part, have been done.
Stories all have the same parts as far as a beginning, a problem or something that the characters must overcome, a part where all seems lost and the bad guys are winning, and then a climax and an ending to wrap it all up nicely and neatly… or a hook to tie into the sequel. Having the same parts as other stories is fine but the characters should be different and interesting. The problem they face should be different or interesting. How they deal with it should be different and interesting.
I have to wonder, are there any new perspectives, different takes on the standard heroes quest we see so often in fantasy writing? I thought, are there any new ways to portray main characters? The whole, they are like us, they have flaws, they are not perfect – has been done. The whole, they are perfect and they have no weaknesses – has been done. The whole complete fantasy world where they are nothing like humans – has been done. The whole, they are all too real and this could really happen – has been done. The idea that the main characters are poor nobodies and have to take on the challenge of being heroes – has been done. The idea that the main characters are initially above everyone else and have to become more like the regular guy – has been done.
I came to a conclusion on how to handle this problem. I think that part of being a writer is handling this fundamental issue. So what about everyone else? What do you think on the idea that all fantasy stories are essentially the same tale? What about the idea that all characters have been done before?