Originally posted in October:
I hate cookie-cutter homes. I hate people who all act alike and walk about like fish in a school. I hate not being different.
I hate characters who are all the same.
The above? It drives me nuts. I'm reading a book called Cinder right now. And don't get me wrong--I'm quite enjoying the book (cyborgs. Where do you find books with a main character who's a cyborg?)--but I feel like I've met Lihn Cinder before, and I'm not meaning that as a good thing.
If I look her over, sure, she's different. But why is it that throughout the book I'm sitting there constantly asking where I've seen this character's personality before. I'm meaning more than just personality types, just to clarify. Cinder's voice just strikes me as familiar--too familiar.
As much as I love a good book in a genre I love, I want to be surprised. I'm sure I'm not the only one who yearns for something different. Something unique and original. When I found Tempest by Holly Hook, I was all over it. I ignored the terrible writing and the lame antagonist and the fact that that town in Florida doesn't exist (that may or may not have made me upset). A. I'd never read a book featuring hurricanes. B. The hurricanes were actually people. Insta-love. That, and I loved how it was set in Florida. I have this thing for books set in Florida. I will get uber excited at just a mention of Disney World--and not because of the amusement park. I'm hearing Orlando, Florida.
I'm not asking you to step out of your way and write about human tornados (I think Holly Hook might've done that one too). All I want is for your book--no matter what genre, setting, or overused plot--to be original. It can be done. I've read some books that normally would've earned a yawn that instead earned my respect. I hated the ending to Hero by Mike Lupica, but the story itself was different. Really, I didn't find the plot that exciting or anything. But it was unique and it earned my attention.
Ignore everyone else and write what you need to write. Do not give us the umpteenth Twilight or the next Hunger Games. Those have been done. At least, give us five or ten years of a pause. And like anyone will tell you: Write what you want. It doesn't have to be what you know. I mean, that's a big one for me since I write fantasy. You want to read books about dragons? Well good for you if you're doing such.
And I'm so sorry about this ramble. I just got myself all mad at characters who are all the same this morning.
Oh the things you can think while brushing your teeth.
- Silence Kee