on Writers Helping Writers:
Not all story ideas are winners. But they could be, if they only had that spark of originality and relevance to make them stand out. The irony is that the unique angle you’re looking for may require you to borrow existing ideas from other authors. How does that work, exactly? David Pennington breaks it down for us.
“The ugly fact is…books are made out of books.”
~ Cormac McCarthy
Your idea, as it stands on the page, is likely not everything it could be. Worse yet, it’s likely not everything your audience wants it to be. Writers today are challenged to hit the “publish” button as fast and as often as possible. As writers, our duty is to subtly tie together ideas in a way that is easily approachable and digestible so it leaves your audience feeling better for it.
Where do these ideas come from, and how do you make them the complete, robust gems your audience is craving? It’s time to go cratedigging.