It’s every author’s dream to write an original, best-selling story. However, I realized today that no one has ever done that. Every story ever written draws on other things.
I’m not saying they aren’t good. I’m not saying they don’t have unique aspects. I’m just saying they aren’t original. Even the most bizarre fantasy or outlandish science fiction is still based in our way of understanding things, and so we draw on things we know.
Take the Chanur saga, by C. J. Cherryh. In her books, two of the races breathe methane instead of oxygen, and their language is so different from ours that it can only be translated into a matrix of words that needs to be read up, down, sideways, and diagonal. Wow! Original, right?
No. A unique combination, but not quite original. Methane is still a gas, like oxygen, they still travel on land, and matrices are familiar to us, though using them as language is a new twist.
There has only ever been one truly original story ever written; we’re all living it right now.
In the beginning, there was nothing. No-thing. There wasn’t even emptiness, because there was no space to be empty. But in that nothingness, God is.
God, drawing on nothing but himself, created the concept, and the reality, of time. He invented time. He is (for all my Whovian friends) the first and the last and the greatest Timelord.
The He created space. Not anything in it yet, but He replaced nothingness with emptiness. Then He filled the emptiness. With a word, He invented energy. “Let there be Light.” And there was. Out of nothing, He made everything. After energy, He invented matter.
And isn’t that what every author wants to do? Create something from nothing? We can’t, of course. Our minds can’t come up with something totally different from everything that is. But we try to emulate our Author, and so we write.
Write on, wyrms.