The Individuality of Story

So, not too long ago, I was going through my Twitter followers and putting them into lists because I’d become overwhelmed by my feed (stream? why do I suck at knowing social media terms?) and hadn’t really touched it in about two years. (And now, with the lists, it is lovely and manageable. I highly recommend.)

Anyway, I was looking at the people I was following and deciding where to put them, and I came across Amalia Dillin, who happens to write books with a mixture of Biblical and other mythologies, which is what Shards happens to be. And I got really excited and probably scared her a bit, but, long story short, I bought the first book in her series and have been reading it recently.

And every time my husband sees me reading it, he asks, “Is yours better?”

To which I reply, “Mine is different.”

And they are–very different.

I firmly believe that each of us are the sum of our own experiences, and we have our own thoughts, dreams, and beliefs that are completely unique to ourselves. And I believe that, given the exact same premise, no two authors will write the same story. How could they? They’re different people.

So, while both Amalia and I have worlds where the various pantheons are real and interact with Biblical characters, the stories themselves are wildly different. In fact, this is probably the closest I’ve ever been to reading a story with the same premise as one of my own, and it’s been very interesting and enlightening to take note of the differences and the similarities, to compare how she twisted the mythology to how I did.

I’ve wanted, for years, to do some sort of experiment, where several authors are given the exact same premise, or maybe even a loose plot, and then we sit back and see what everyone came up with, how each individual person twisted things to suit their needs and styles and experiences. I think it’d be really interesting.

And then, maybe, depending on length and so forth, we could put the stories out as an anthology or something.

What do you think, Squiders? Other writers–have you ever come across another story with the same or a similar premise to your own?

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