This quote from Aaron Sorkin has had me thinking over the past few days about my own writing. Looking back, a lot of write I write is just a mishmash of things I’ve snagged from some of my favourite writers, for both film and books.
Nothing is new under the sun, and we as writers may struggle to come up with “something new”. Chances are that’s not happening. There hasn’t been a totally original story in hundreds of years–all of them are in one form or another something that we’ve either heard or read elsewhere. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I encourge you to “steal” from your favorite writers. For the script I’m working on, I’ve been pulling through movies and shows like Supernatural, Constantine, Hellboy, and the Blade Trilogy . For my novel I’ve been re-reading all of my high fantasy books such as Eragon, Fool’s Gold, and The Nightangel Trilogy. I’ll take the things that I really like from those books and either alter them a little bit, or pull from other resources that may bnot even be related to my novel and make it my own.
That there should be the focus of writers. Let’s not focus so much on “writing something new”, but more so, “writing the story that we want to read”.