on Fiction University:
A great premise is a great start, but there’s more to writing a compelling novel than having a cool idea.
There’s a strange phenomenon in Hollywood where two movies with the same premise appear at the same time. Volcano and Dante’s Peak. Armageddon and Deep Impact. Sky High and Zoom. This isn’t new, and goes back as far as Gone with the Wind and it’s twin, Jezebel.
Maybe it’s movie espionage, maybe it’s the same inspirational triggers in the air, maybe a studio hears about a cool new script in the works and wonders if they have any options of their own like it.
What’s interesting to me about this, is how many examples it gives writers for different ways to approach the same premise. You can take the exact same premise and craft completely different stories. Just look at all the Romeo & Juliet clones out there.