What Makes Your Book Different?: Basic Storytelling Elements Part 6

Welcome to my ten-part series where we’ll be going through the ten basics of storytelling as outlined in my guidebook The 10 Lost Elements of Storytelling – a book you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter! In these posts, we’ll be going over the basics of these storytelling elements, but my guidebook is more detailed on some subjects and provides examples and resources. All you need to do is say “yes” to receiving a fun, inspirational, and educational newsletter once a month.

This will be a short post today, but an important one, so make sure to follow through to the end!

If you’re a writer, you’re likely a big reader too. In fact, a lot of stuff in your writing is probably a product of all the books you’ve read. And this is great! Stories repeat themselves, and that’s how it will always work.

But what’s the balance between original and “it’s been done before?” You can do everything right. You can follow story beats to a T, you can create amazing characters and write extremely well, but if your book isn’t unique in some way, then why should readers pick it up?

This might seem like a no-brainer that doesn’t even need to be said. But, let me assure you, it does! I see so many books nowadays that present a standard type of story that everyone knows and don’t add anything unique to it. They might get put on the shelves, but they’ll be in the discount section a week later.

Sometimes we, as writers, are blind to this error. We write something that sounds like a great story, but when other people read it, there’s nothing unique to capture their attention. That’s why we need people like beta readers and others who are trained to give feedback (like I do on Fiverr!) to tell us if our idea is really working.

And if you are worried about your story being a simple repeat, don’t panic! Just give it some more thought. Here are some ways to make your book stand out, no matter what genre you’re in:

  • Make an outstanding, memorable character (think Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films)
  • Tell the story in a unique way (think The Book Thief)
  • Turn a trope (or tropes) on its head (think the Mistborn series)

So when you get feedback on your story idea, make sure to ask for opinions on what makes your story unique. You want your story to be memorable, right? So make it that way.

Happy writing, and Merry Christmas! I’ll see you next week!

If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll consider donating to the blog and/or reading my stories on Vocal so I can continue to produce free content!

Want to delve even further into the writing world? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get a FREE storytelling guidebook right off the bat, plus insider looks into my upcoming works, writing memes, book recs, and much more!

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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