Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Original or Rewrite?

Ever notice how all romance stories have the same plot? Okay, okay, I know... not ALL of them. But a lot of them do.

Let me illustrate: Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy has secret that he doesn't know how to tell girl without her getting mad at him, so he doesn't tell her. Girl finds out boy's secret inadvertantly and gets mad at him. Boy begs for forgiveness. They live happily ever after.

Here are a few examples: You've Got Mail, Hitch, My Super Ex-Girlfirend, While you were Sleeping (okay, in those two it's the girl who has the secret), A Walk in the Clouds, and High School Musical to name just a few.

Do you think plots in general are overdone? Or do you think good stories should be written and rewritten as long as people keep enjoying them? What about you? Do you enjoy rewrites of the same version of a story? Or do you think every plot should be an original artistic creation? And if so, how do you go about creating a story that's completely original?


  1. Ha ha! I laughed as I read this because it's SO TRUE!!!

    I'm going to say there is no such thing as a completely original story. I also believe there is a certain amount of comfort to be take in the expected. An awesome example of the opposite is Serenity, or Firefly. It broke so many rules of genre that while extremely well written, character charged and hilarious, it was difficult for people to identify, receive and categorize, thus unable to land a mass basis. Convention is there for a reason, however, as music majors will tell you, you learn the rules, then you learn how to break them.

  2. There are only so many plots out there. I don't mind a redo. It's the characters I fall in love with.

  3. I have heard somewhere that there are only a certain number of plots out there. You can only rearrange and reimagine them. The thing is that because we are so different we could all take the same basic outline for a story and still have completely different stories from each other. Hmmm that's something we should try on here sometime.

    I don't mind the rewrites, it's what I like about writing. We aren't in direct competetion with each other. There can be hundreds of vampire books out there and it's not like the readers are going to say, "oh I only like one vampire book." They are going to read them all. (Well not me, cuz vampires aren't my thing.) But you get the point. Each story has a different take no matter how similar they may seem to begin with.

  4. There is a similar formula with Ever After starring Drew Barrymore. It is the girl that holds the secret this time.

    People have been living on this planet for a very long time--how can nothing be recycled--even ideas?



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