Friday, March 12, 2010

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR STORY IDEA HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE

The more you read, 
the better you write, 
so read a book 
every night.

The more I read picture books, the more ideas come to me. The more I read picture books, the better language I use.

How to Tell If Your Story Idea Has Been Done Before || fresh new plot twist | new ideas | writing tips

I love choosing lyrical passages from my favorite picture books and using them as models for writing exercises. I have come up with 3 different beginnings for my latest story that way. When it's all said and done, it will probably be a mix between the three... or I'll come up with my own fresh new twist in my own voice - even better!

I write down new ideas all the time, but I wonder if they've ever been done before. Is there such a thing as a new idea? There are a million topics to write about and sometimes one topic has been written about a million times. But it only takes "a new idea," or rather a new twist on an old idea, to create a fresh new story plot. When I'm ready to begin a new writing project, I like to see if it's been done before.

Three ways to find out if your story idea has already been written:

  1. Basic Google search for my own working title. I see if anything pops up and how similar they are. I also search by topics and include the key words "picture book."
  2. Advanced Amazon search by topic or title, also sortable by year. The ones that really matter have been published within the last 5-10 years. Any older, and they're really not competition.
  3. A database of tests for elementary schools. IF YOU CAN FIND IT - THEY'VE UPDATED THEIR SITE *SO SAD* It tells the year of publication, the publisher, a short summary of the book, the reading level, and the word count.

Keep on keepin' on...

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