Mistake 13: Not Having an Idea That's Different Enough

Author:
Publish date:

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from the Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: There is an inherent catch-22 in writing: You have to learn the craft of writing, yet if you follow the rules of the craft too closely, you become like everyone else who can read an instruction manual. Every idea, pretty much every story, has been done before. Elsewhere I mention the value of studying those who have mastered the craft of writing. That’s all well and good, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to put your own stamp on your writing.

Image placeholder title

In the same manner, too many writers are concerned about what’s hot now and what’s selling now. The problem with this line of thinking is twofold. What’s hot now is a ship that has already sailed—anything you sell now will have to be hot a year from now. And what will be selling
a year from now is anybody’s guess. Usually, it’s good writing.

The solution:
Look inside yourself and find your own passion and creativity. Apply that passion and creativity to learning the craft and then putting your own spin on things. There is no one else out there who is you. This is how you become different enough. By being you. No one else has lived your life and has had your experiences and possesses your brain.

The Play Really Is the Thing

The Play Really Is the Thing

Studying different genres can make you a stronger writer overall. Here, author Jessica Barksdale Inclán explains why reading more Shakespeare is a great idea.

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Pair vs. Pare vs. Pear (Grammar Rules)

Prepare yourself for comparing the differences of pair, pare, and pear on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

6 Lessons of Writing for Novelists

6 Lessons of Writing for Novelists

As the author of 16 novels, Wendy Wax shares her top 6 tips for novelists to help their writing journey go as smoothly as possible.

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

Elyssa Friedland: On Letting Setting Guide You

When author Elyssa Friedland settled on the setting for her latest novel, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel, the characters and plot came to her. Here, she discusses the importance of setting.

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Alyson Gerber: On Writing Difficult Topics for Young Readers

Critically acclaimed author Alyson Gerber discusses how she tackled the topic of disordered eating in her latest middle-grade novel, Taking Up Space.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Annual Writing Competition, Submission Guidelines, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce the extended Annual Writing Competition deadline for 2021, details on how to submit your writing to Writer’s Digest, and more!

Amorak Huey: On Stalling Out After Publication

Amorak Huey: On Stalling Out After Publication

Poet Amorak Huey hit a creative roadblock after publishing his latest poetry collection Dad Jokes From Late in the Patriarchy. He shares his cure (and more!) in this article.

From Script

New Original Podcasts, Videos, and Understanding Data as a Screenwriter (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, Script releases brand new audible and visual content!