Writing Without Fear: Has Everything Already Been Written?

One of the things I sometimes struggle with is coming up with new writing ideas that nobody else has written about before. More than once I have explained one of my plot ideas to my partner, only to be told that a writer or movie maker has already beaten me to it and created something very similar. In fact, there is an argument that there are actually only seven plots in literature: overcoming the monster; rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; comedy; tragedy; and rebirth. Every story is said to stem from these themes. There are around 130 million published books in the world (depending on what your definition of a book is), and that is perhaps a rather reserved figure as it was suggested in 2010. So what’s the likelihood of anyone thinking of a new idea that hasn’t already been done?

 

Continue Reading “Writing Without Fear: Has Everything Already Been Written?”

How to Make Literary Magazine Editors Happy

Submitting to literary magazines can be a bit of a minefield, to say the least. Literary database Duotrope has around 6,000 poetry, fiction and non-fiction publications listed on its website, and there are probably many more in existence that aren’t listed in this directory. Some are online only, some only appear in print, some don’t accept email submissions, some are only open to writers in particular geographical locations or with specific demographics. Each one has its own requirements when it comes to format, word or line limit, simultaneous submissions, and more.

Continue Reading “How to Make Literary Magazine Editors Happy”