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i am trying to make my fantasy book origional but it always comes out like a typical fantasy.
unimportant person
finds magic world/ creature
evil force is damaging something or other
person has to stop it
goes through training
what can i do to make it different?

This is a common lament, and for far more than just fantasy.  Consider:  "boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy loses girl, boy sulks, boy has epiphany, boy does something to get girl back."  Pretty common, huh?  And yet, what we find is that even a tired old plot like that can be done again and again without us getting tired of it.

You see, it's not the plot points that are the issue.  It's how we deal with them.  So, there's nothing inherently wrong with the little outline you provided here.  Your challeng is to do something fresh with the ideas.

Essentially, what you'll want to do is examine each of those points and see what you can do to make them different and interesting.  For example, "unimportant person."  What can we do with that to make it fundamentally different than what we've seen a thousand times before?  Making it a pre-teen kid would smack too much of Harry Potter and other tales.  But what about doing something with a character who's much older.  I don't know if you'd feel comfortable writing, say, a 65 year old woman, but if you could pull that off, it could be pretty interesting.  

Every point you mentioned can be approached this way.  Just twist it around, shake it up... do whatever you need to find the one or two elements to change to make your fantasy something uncommon.  And really, one or two would be all you'd need.  You don't have to make all of those things "unusual."  

You don't have to try to come up with a plot that no one's done before.  Just approach the "same old story" in a way that makes it uniquely your story.  

Hope that helps.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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