Episode 17: On Being Derivative & Abby's Feedback from Blueprint for a Book Lesson 1

In this episode:

I got a little emotional in this episode talking about my story. A lot of unconscious elements bubbled up as I worked through Week 1 of Blueprint for a Book. Jennie helps me sift through all my ideas and thoughts and organize them into something I can work with to create a story. Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • The point of your story is usually a cliche, so don't let that hold you back. To use everyone's favorite comparison, the point of Harry Potter is "love conquers all."
  • On being derivative: no one works in a vacuum.
  • Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  • On being derivative: it's helpful to remember and understand the tropes in your particular genre.
If you’re worried about being too derivative, then you’re probably just worried about the plot, when what the writer really has to worry about is the why- the deep level why.
— Jennie Nash
  • I get emotional talking about my story and the parallels my husband drew between my story ideas and his relationship with his grandfather. 
  • You can draw from other stories but you design your world to push your characters. 
  • Jennie helps me organize all my thoughts into something workable. 
  • We talk about kids' books, and how I am afraid to make it too dark or too sad, but also feel like that is where my writing is leading me. I feel like I'm trying to force my story to be comedic, and something feels off.  
Don’t shy away from the thing that you’re feeling that is dark and scary as a mom because that’s going to be the thing that makes your book amazing.
— Jennie Nash

Jennie's Recommended Reading:

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
By Kelly Barnhill

I reference an article I read in Psychology Today called The 5 Traits of Extraordinary People, by Dr. David Sack.  I also reference a TED Talk by Tim Ferriss called Smash Fear, Learn Anything.