The best advice I received

I was having a conversation with Christopher Hopper, author of the Ruins of the Galaxy series, and I mentioned the striking similarities between his series and the Galaxy’s Edge series by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole. Chris gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard. He said something along the lines of “Of course there are similarities. We’re all playing in the same sandbox here. We’ve all got the same toys, we just set them up in different ways to make different stories.”

That advice goes along with the saying “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” [M. Twain]

The core ideas might be the same as something someone wrote in the past, but it is the actual EXECUTION that makes it unique. How many stories follow the same “boy meets girl…” outline, but differ so significantly in details, location, mood, etc.

The uniqueness comes from the way the author arranges the same elements, the same LEGO blocks of the story.