I have alluded to this before, but far too much of what is found in the marketplace today is the same. Different names and different settings, but everything else seems to remain the same.
When I was growing up, I remember watching the reruns of old black and white cowboy movies. As I grew into my teen years and became much more observant, I watched the same movies and noted the scenery was identical, the storylines were the same, in each episode they galloped around the same stupid rock 78 times (approximately and figuratively speaking), and of course, they used the same “shoot at the moon” style when holding their guns. The bad guys all wore black and the good guys wore white. In the end, the baddies ALWAYS lost and the good guys got the girls.
The musicals and romance movies had the same problem. Many of them followed a basic script of boy meets girl, girl leaves, boy goes after her, and then in the end, boy and girl get together and live happily ever after.
But books were different. There came a time when I realized that if I really wanted to think and allow my mind to visit unknown worlds that I would have to read what somebody had written. Books allowed me to escape from tedious homework or the bother of siblings or even the call of chores (much to my parents’ chagrin). I went to extraordinary worlds, became involved in extraordinary settings that would have defied the laws of gravity, physics and every other law known to man — except one.
The settings were not bound by anything other than the mind of the author. They could say what they wanted, paint a world of their own creation, deviate from the accepted norm of boy meets girl scenario, etc. and even write in plots, characters, settings, and vocabulary words that were just plain weird.
I discovered the plays of Shakespeare and felt pity when Hamlet, Prince of Denmark found out his friend, Horatio, had died. I wore the robes of the elven race through the pages of Tolkien and knew that if I had been a hobbit, I would have done just as well as Bilbo Baggins. Reading C.S. Lewis, I knew that animals talked if I could but find the right wardrobe door. Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour filled my head with big, strong types who made the west what it truly was. I sat at the controls of a starship and conquered galaxies through the pages of science fiction.
And what is most amazing is that when I finally started to write, I realized that these books were written by people just like me. They drank tea or coffee, had arguments with friends and family, worked for a living or struggled to exist by selling their writings, had good days and bad days, but most importantly, THEY WROTE.
So, what are YOU waiting for? Somewhere out there is a young girl or boy who needs encouragement. They are tired of seeing the same old movies and want real adventure. They want to know that it is possible to make things right in the world. Those young people may need to escape a world that is brutal or abusive. Maybe they are bullied at home or at school. That person who sits in a dead-end job may want to learn of worlds that transport them out of a life of drudgery into a place of their own making. They can do that and more through your writing, but before they can, YOU MUST WRITE.
The similarity between you and everybody else in the world is that you are ORDINARY.