So I was explaining the Really Cool Idea I had for a story structure to my writing group.
“I haven’t seen anything like it before,” I said. “It just seems to
fit with the story I’m trying to tell. This is how I wanna do it-”
insert long-winded and overly verbose explanation with copious hand gestures here
“Oh!” they said. “Just like Dracula and Lady Susan and-”
“No,” I said, somewhat annoyed. “Mine is different. It’s sci-fi.”
“Oh, like Frankenstein!”
This required a pause for rueful contemplation. At last, I was forced to admit that yes, it had been done before. I felt like kicking something. It was my brand new bright shiny idea. How dare Jane Austen et al use it before I did?
I’m going to do it that way anyway. For starters, it’s a great structure. Also, my twist on it is still just slightly different. And let’s face it, there isn’t an idea out there that hasn’t been done and done over time and time again. It’s just a matter of who did it best, really. In writing, as in all life, there is nothing new under the sun: variations upon a theme are all we have to work with.