Writing Books/Originality.

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Question
As you've probably heard, Percy Jackson is now a movie. My rough draft was supposed to be about Hades and his twin sons taking over Olympus. Well After seeing the trailer for said movie, I said to myself, "Oh crud. I will get sued for all my keepsakes." I now am idea-dead. I have no ideas, but I am such a good writer. God gave me the gift of having a way with words and I want to use it to the fullest extent, but I can't come up with my own ideas. I will say, "Oo, that would make a good story," and then I think about it and it's always influenced by some book I've read. PLEASE HELP ME!!! D;

Answer
Hi, Jake!

I haven't read the Percy Jackson series but originality of idea is all in the DOING. If your idea is similar then it's absolutely in your ability to correct that. Whether you change the names of the parties, or how Olympus functions, it's all in how the world develops. Or, instead of using the Greek variation, go with the Roman pantheon (pretty much the same Gods and Goddess, but different names and different relationships).

Being influenced by what we read is actually the best thing that can happen to a writer. How many vampire stories have there been? How many shapeshifters? Every idea is overused. All you have to do is "tweak" it to make it brand new. I think if you change the names and read a few stories of Roman mythology (or heck, even Norse!) you'll come up with a bunch of new ideas. :D

Good luck!

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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