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Albert Einstein once said that "the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources". He had a point. Consciously or unconsciously, many authors take their lead from what's gone before. I'm not saying that's wrong, just that it happens. Inspiration comes in many forms.

Are there any stories out there that are unarguably different or are we at the point where the majority of books are destined to be a rehash of previous works? Please see if you can think of one book you've read that was unique in some way.

I don't want to believe that we've ran out of ideas. Are there subjects out there that are begging to be written about that have so far been largely ignored? There must be.

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I think rehash is perhaps a bit unkind to authors. Each writer brings their own twists and turns to a story that another wouldn't. How can boy meets girl ever be avoided if you want to write a love story? That's as old as time and fresh variations on the theme arrive in bookstores every day.

Subjects that beg to be written about? I'm surprised there's not more out there about internet chatrooms and the way they work. The first time I went into one on a parenting site many years ago I had no idea what was going on. It moved so fast and I didn't have a clue what all the abbreviations were. They can be a culture shock to newcomers.
One of the books that comes to mind, is one that is older and is required reading in American high schools often. It is Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, printed in 1951.

This book is unique, and I have not come across any book that is quite the same. This book was also named as one of the best 100 novels by Time between 1923 and 2005.

As for books or writers today, I am sure that there are some that are unique, I have some short stories that I have written that are purely from the imagination and would not be like any other published material.
One of the books that comes to mind, is one that is older and is required reading in American high schools often. It is Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, printed in 1951.

This book is unique, and I have not come across any book that is quite the same. This book was also named as one of the best 100 novels by Time between 1923 and 2005.

As for books or writers today, I am sure that there are some that are unique.
I remember reading Catcher in my Grade 11 English Class, least I think it was 11, might have been 12; but I was so interested in that book because I hadn't read anything like it before, that I went ahead of the class and finished the book before anyone else had. My teacher handed out quizes and question sheets about the book and half of the stuff I had to go and re-read the book because I was so far ahead I had almost forgotten what had happened in the beginning of the book, lol.

But to answer your question, Scribbler, I personally haven't found a book that I can say is definitively original. Every store I go to has a book section, most of the time, and a lot of the stuff they have for sale looks to be all the same. I stand there and read the back cover of most of the books and the majority of them are just different variations of the previous. Somewhat annoys me when I'm trying to find something to read that I haven't read before.

Sandra Kitchen said:
One of the books that comes to mind, is one that is older and is required reading in American high schools often. It is Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, printed in 1951.

This book is unique, and I have not come across any book that is quite the same. This book was also named as one of the best 100 novels by Time between 1923 and 2005.

As for books or writers today, I am sure that there are some that are unique, I have some short stories that I have written that are purely from the imagination and would not be like any other published material.
A book that I'm sure you will see me mention a lot on this site (I'm determined that everyone will read it :-D ) is Deafening... if there is another book out there like it, I'd sure like to know... if looked at something that had never been looked at in a novel before.

I think the backdrops that authors choose to use nowadays tend to be what has been popular in the past, for example war or romance etc etc... however familiar isn't always a bad thing as long as there is some original thoughts in there somewhere. Familiar can be comforting.
Tell us more Cheryl please. It's nice to meet you. What's unique about Deafening and how did you come across this book?

Cheryl said:
A book that I'm sure you will see me mention a lot on this site (I'm determined that everyone will read it :-D ) is Deafening... if there is another book out there like it, I'd sure like to know... if looked at something that had never been looked at in a novel before.
I think the backdrops that authors choose to use nowadays tend to be what has been popular in the past, for example war or romance etc etc... however familiar isn't always a bad thing as long as there is some original thoughts in there somewhere. Familiar can be comforting.
Well, I am doing Deaf Studies at University. I randomly spotted it one day in a book store and thought it sounded really interesting. What is unique about it is that it explores a love that crosses two language, but not two spoken languages... the main character in the book becomes deaf as a child after a bout of scarlet fever...the book explores the different languages she uses through her life, the oral one her gran teaches her, the 'home signs' her and her sister use, the true sign language she is taught later at school and the language she uses with her husband.
There is an element of the familiar in the novel, as Grania (that's the main character) Grania's husband goes off to war - but the main focus of the novel is deafness. I've never read such an expressive book, sometimes the author tells us things through Grania's eyes - she interprets the world in a visual way. The author is so clever in using shorter sentences at the beginning of the novel, with very little syntax or complex wording, because Grania herself wouldn't be using language like that...as the novel progresses and she begins to learn sign language her expressions slowly change and we see more complex and expressive language being used.

Having babbled on for long, I now realise I will never do this book justice! You can buy it for £3 at www.play.com :-)

scribbler said:
Tell us more Cheryl please. It's nice to meet you. What's unique about Deafening and how did you come across this book?

Cheryl said:
A book that I'm sure you will see me mention a lot on this site (I'm determined that everyone will read it :-D ) is Deafening... if there is another book out there like it, I'd sure like to know... if looked at something that had never been looked at in a novel before.
I think the backdrops that authors choose to use nowadays tend to be what has been popular in the past, for example war or romance etc etc... however familiar isn't always a bad thing as long as there is some original thoughts in there somewhere. Familiar can be comforting.
Sandra Kitchen said:
One of the books that comes to mind, is one that is older and is required reading in American high schools often. It is Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, printed in 1951.
This book is unique, and I have not come across any book that is quite the same. This book was also named as one of the best 100 novels by Time between 1923 and 2005. As for books or writers today, I am sure that there are some that are unique.

Strange but true coincidence time, Sandra. I picked up Catcher in the Rye at a yard sale this past weekend because I've never read it. I hadn't read this thread again until now either! Something tells me I should be reading that. :)

I thought of a book I read that was truly unique. I reviewed it recently. It's called Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham ( which in fact is the pen name of Bill Surie) and is hilarious. It's made up of nothing but emails! Here's a snippet from the review.

This romantic comedy is very clever. The humor veers from the dry, sarcasm dripping kind to slapstick comedy without skipping a beat. The most outstandingly creative thing about this book is the style of its composition. Holly’s Inbox is told entirely with emails flying back and forth to receptionist Holly. There are no lengthy descriptions nor scene setting preambles. Everything that unfolds, every character you grow to love, like or loathe, you discover via those emails.
Andrew, how about trying a section that you would never venture into? When I feel I get in a rut I go to a completely alien part of the store and look. I force myself to read a genre or subject that normally I wouldn't. And if you don't want to spend money on a book you might hate, go to the library and get one for free. :) It sounds crazy, I know. Still, it broadens the mind!

Andrew Kunz said:
I remember reading Catcher in my Grade 11 English Class, least I think it was 11, might have been 12; but I was so interested in that book because I hadn't read anything like it before, that I went ahead of the class and finished the book before anyone else had. My teacher handed out quizes and question sheets about the book and half of the stuff I had to go and re-read the book because I was so far ahead I had almost forgotten what had happened in the beginning of the book, lol.
But to answer your question, Scribbler, I personally haven't found a book that I can say is definitively original. Every store I go to has a book section, most of the time, and a lot of the stuff they have for sale looks to be all the same. I stand there and read the back cover of most of the books and the majority of them are just different variations of the previous. Somewhat annoys me when I'm trying to find something to read that I haven't read before.
Actually, there are. I'm writing a book and I think that it's a very unique idea. I would statach the file, but there are probably some people on this site that would steal it. I certainly don't think you but there are some. I have an idea for ajealous woman taking revenge on her boyfriend the night he was to propose to her, because she new he loved another woman. In fact, their love was so secret, that she didn't even know herself until after his death! I'm sort of in a dilemma here though. He dies at the beginning of a story and I have no idea how to make it longer without making it boring. Now that I think about it, that is sort of cleshay, but my family thinks that it's a good idea.
When you say the word unique, the first book that pops into my mind is the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke. She is a genius writer and has written several other books I can't wait to read. This is a book about a girl and her father who can read characters out of books by reading out loud. My favorite thing about this series is that before every chapter, she takes a paragraph or two from another book that tells you a quik summary of the chapter. Most of this book is actually a book recomendation. I certainly have never even heard of a book like that.
Callie, think about it. If you were to post an idea and a member wrote a piece based on that later, your post here is date stamped. Don't get yourself all paranoid about people stealing your ideas. And even if they did would it really be like plucking your exact thoughts from your head? It wouldn't. Let me explain.

I guarantee you that there are thousands of books already published about a vengeful woman and a love triangle. There's nothing wrong with that. What makes each of those books unique is the author's twist on a common theme. Yours will be different from any other writers as would be one that another member wrote.

You can't copyright an idea, by the way. This is very clear under Copyright Law. Once you write down your story, it is but not before.

In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.,

Read more about that and see an example in the Ideas section of this page from a copyright law firm's website. If you're really that worried, the simplest thing to do is not share your ideas at all. But I can assure you, people like to come up with their own ideas much better than to steal them. ;)


P.S. Cleshay is spelled cliché. It's French in origin.

Callie Leah said:
Actually, there are. I'm writing a book and I think that it's a very unique idea. I would statach the file, but there are probably some people on this site that would steal it. I certainly don't think you but there are some. I have an idea for ajealous woman taking revenge on her boyfriend the night he was to propose to her, because she new he loved another woman. In fact, their love was so secret, that she didn't even know herself until after his death! I'm sort of in a dilemma here though. He dies at the beginning of a story and I have no idea how to make it longer without making it boring. Now that I think about it, that is sort of cleshay, but my family thinks that it's a good idea.

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