Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shakespeare's Already Written Everything!

There are times when a writer struggles and suffers with what to write, spends hours thinking about it, finally comes up with something absolutely brilliant, sets out to work on the concept, then discovers that someone else has already written it.

Happens all the time. It's happened to me. It will happen to you. The sad fact is, Shakespeare has already written every plot possible. And brilliantly, I might add if four hundred years' worth of critique can be believed. I think it probably can.

The key is to put your own unique spin on it. If we're writing romances - which I am - then we know the plot. Two people will meet, fall in love, have some huge obstacle to overcome and ultimately overcome it. (Because if it doesn't have a HEA, it isn't romance!)

Last night as I was watching NCIS (because Mark Harmon was MEANT to be mine! I don't know what bizarre set of circumstances kept our paths from crossing) I found myself itching to write the story I was watching. Super secret operative gets close to woman to learn facts about her arms-dealing father but - oops! - falls in love with her in the process. Yeah, I want to write that. I'm sure it's been written dozens of times. Heck, I kind of wrote it myself in BITTERSWEET BETRAYAL when Tannis is coerced into spying on Zachary which he doesn't find out until he's already fallen in love with her.

So there aren't any new stories, are there? This came to mind for me because there has been a lot of publicity the last few days about the fiftieth anniversary of WEST SIDE STORY. "When you're a jet, you're a jet all the way..." What's not to love about this Bernstein/Sondheim collaboration?

But even fifty years ago, this story wasn't new. It's ROMEO AND JULIET set to music and moved to Manhattan. Clever idea. It works very well.

So, it's all about what each writer brings to the plot, isn't it? Yeah, Shakespeare wrote everything. But he didn't write any of it through the perspective of MY mind. So back to work for me.

Have a great day.


Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I can't wait to read your romance based on Henry IV.