Wow. Sounds terrible, right? What author would want to be accused of writing anything that is described by the words above. And yet I have to ask myself, what do readers want?
When it comes to YA I often wonder if original thought can actually be a tad disappointing. I've read lots of reviews of YA books where readers don't exactly appreciate what's "original" - they want the guy and girl to end up together, they want the estranged friends to make-up and be besties again, they want redemption, they want to feel good when a story ends, etc. Twists and turns are nice, but at the end of the day, it feels like they kind of want what they want.
I guess what confuses me the most is what's considered "original." I mean, is there really any story line that is original anymore? They've even distilled down every story into 7 basic plots (overcoming the monster, rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy, rebirth) - and those plots go back ages.
So as authors how do we write "original?" Let me tell you, it sure isn't easy. When I'm writing, I have a heightened sense for "cliche" - how I describe things, analogies, synonyms, comparisons, you name it. Everything feels like it's been done before, so how can I, one little writer, expect to do it all "originally?"
It's hard. And wondering if readers will accept your version of "original" can make you second guess yourself. Because original doesn't necessarily mean better. But it's a risk worth taking. Even if it isn't easy.