I used to be so concerned with making sure my story was unique and something that hadn’t been done before. I didn’t want anyone to think I was copying another author.
Guess how many stories I wrote in that mindset.
I can understand now that it was a silly notion.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
It’s a quote by Pablo Picasso I had learned about during my second round of college. It was also a huge slap in the face (but in a good way…?) because I realized how much I was limiting myself. I was scared of treading into someone else’s territory, only to realize that that is literally the only way to do it.
Obviously, “stealing” someone’s idea is a horrible thing to do, but stealing their idea—their baseline, simple idea—is how all great artists start building their own foundation.
A boy goes to school, meets some friends, and always gets in trouble.
That’s Harry Potter, right? Well how many other storylines just popped into your mind? How many can be pulled from that simple idea? It’s literally endless.
A group of friends trust each other to the end and can get through anything.
Also Harry Potter, but also the Maze Runner series, the Hunger Games series, and a whole lotta YA fiction.
The point of this post is to reassure that when you are struggling to perfect that plot, it is okay to turn to google, Pinterest, Tumblr, or any other creative site for ideas. And it is okay to take them and mold them into YOUR story.
I just spent a ton of time on Pinterest to fill in the plot for my hella long, multiple book series thing I’m trying and boy, it was a blessing. It helped so much.
Now please don’t plagiarize… aka don’t be a dick, but use your fellow writers. Don’t be afraid to take a basic and simple idea and transform it into your own beautiful masterpiece.