Tips for Making Your Not-So Special Novel Unique

Tips for Making Your Not-So Special Novel Unique



Okay, there’s a big issue going on right now. Basically, it’s all about ‘is my novel unique enough?’ and then people stop writing their novels because they are worried that it isn’t. Let me tell you this- I’ve stopped more than one novel because I was afraid I was copying.

And maybe I was, I don’t know.
The thing is, there is no new idea in this world by now. Want to write a story about a rebellion? It’s been done. Want to write a story about a space ship? Done. Over and over and over again. But the thing is… each of those novels were successful. Why? Because each of them had an element that made them special and unique.
Here are some simple tips to making sure your novel is unique.


1. Change the time-period.

If you want to write a book about aliens invading the world, well, go for it. But, I mean, Independence Day? So change the time period. Make it Medieval. Train a group of knights to fight against the strange ships that come from the sky.
2. Change your tense/pov
People often say that Divergent is too much like Hunger Games. Honestly, other than the fact that it is in a futuristic world and people don’t get to choose what they do… I don’t see it. If Veronica Roth had made it third person, past tense, I doubt anyone would have judged her. So change the POV and you’ll have an entirely different perspective.
3. Change the scenery
If the book/movie you are afraid that you are copying is set in Iceland… make your book in a tropical paradise. If you do this, most people won’t even think of comparing.
4. Give your character a darker twist to avoid cliche
Okay, we’ve all heard the story of the knight rescuing the princess from the dragon. Some people like to flip it on their head and say that the dragon was rescuing the princess from the knight. But what if you gave it an even darker twist? Say that the knight was rescuing the dragon from the bloodthirsty princess? Even if your story is so cliché, all you have to do is give it a sinister and darker twist. People won’t even notice the original then.


What are your success stories for making your novel unique? Share in the comments below!


Four Steps to Creating A Villain

Four Steps to Creating A Villain

One of the hardest things for me was creating the villain. I knew that they had to be evil- but I have trouble creating them. I’m not a particularly evil person, and so to create someone who is can be scary. And then I realized something- they don’t have to be evil. They have to be humans- who breathe and cry just like us. Now, if you’re writing a sci-fi where the villain is some sort of rebel A.I… that’s a little different. Robots don’t have feelings (that’s why its Artificial Intelligence)- but you must make sure that your evil character does.


1. Give them a background
Every evil character in history has some sort of background. Not an evil background- but a background that made them turn into what they are. Did his parents hate him because of his deformed face? Was there a meteor shower that killed his parents? Make him have some sort of past so that the readers will be able to understand them a little bit more.



2. Give them something to ‘feed’ off of
Every good villain has some sort of goal. Whether it’s to dominate the world or have revenge on his brother- it doesn’t matter. Make your villains have some sort of unobtainable goal where they will not be satisfied unless they reach it. Does your evil queen want to be the ‘fairest in the land’? Does your step-mother want to bring her step-daughter into the ashes? Do they want to dominate the world? Wipe out an entire planet in order to stop a disease? Yes, all of these examples are from books and stories- quite popular ones. Your villain must want to obtain something unreachable- and therefore he does all these ‘evil’ things to try to reach it.


3. Make them human
I’ve read books where the villain was the master of all evil, the darkness of all storms, and the worst possible nemesis. It kind of hurt- because the authors didn’t make them human. They made them… fake. As I was reading it, I was like ‘where is the emotion’? Now, I know it’s easy to slip into the ‘oh, he’s a bad guy so he doesn’t have a heart- therefore he doesn’t have any emotions’ thinking. I’ve done it many times. But those are the moments that you need to remember that they are human, and they do have thoughts. You may not show these thoughts, but you must act on them. The villain may not, but you must. If you start thinking of them with pity- everything will come out different. Did President Snow ever lay awake at night thinking of all those lives he killed? Probably not- but he might have. He is, after all, human.


4. Have pity on them- they’re also your creation
    Blood. Death. Destruction. Bad guy dies. Arghhhh! Yes, I’ve read books where it is like this. The good people march in and kill the bad people without a second thought. Well, what’s the problem here? We want happily ever after- right? Yes. Well, what happened to justice? I’ve never liked to think of my protagonists as murderers. It makes me ache a little. So, what if you were to have pity on these villains- and let justice be done? Why not preserve your characters good name and not kill him? See, Katniss doesn’t kill President Snow… he’s killed by choking on his own blood. And he choked on his own blood because of all the poison he used to kill people. See? His fault that he died. Not Katniss’. Have pity on both of your characters and spare your villain. Your book will be much different after that. What to do with them afterward, then? Well, lock them in prison, make them turn good, banish them. The possibilities are endless!

4 Simple Steps to Creating A Realistic Character

4 Simple Steps to Creating A Realistic Character

One of the most key things in forming your novel is character creation. You want a character that draws people in, makes them feel like they are understood and doesn’t seem too ‘Mary-Sue’. It took years, but after a while, I began to understand how to do it. Here’s how.

1. Make them have real blood

I have read corny novels where the main character is absolutely perfect. She never gets angry, never hates anyone and never, ever (wait for it) got hurt in a battle. She could go through an entire battle and not. Get. Hurt. What even is this? A Virtual Reality? No, you’re supposed to be writing in real life. So what are you doing making them invisible? Make them get hurt, make them break, tear them down so that, in the end, they are completely and utterly human.

2. They’re not Vogue-cover perfect

I hate it when they’re perfect. Perfect body, perfect hair, perfect everything. I’ve read novels like that and, in the end, instead of relating to them, I envied them. I couldn’t ever look perfect like they do, and it made me despise the book. So, instead of making them Vogue-cover worthy, make them have a scar on their face, scar marks on their arms from past cuttings, a birthmark they cover up because they are ashamed of it. In my recent dystopian novel, I made my character relatable because I didn’t make her perfect. We live in a real world. Remember that. Perfect isn’t an option.

3. They struggle with an adamant issue

Each and every one of us struggles with some issue. Whether it be pride, anger, hate, or something even worse. Why? Because we’re human. And your characters are too. So make them act like it. I always make my characters have fears, issues, and hopes. Does your MC struggle with trust? Is she irritable? Irrational? Negative? Pick on and add it in. You’ll find that characters are easier to relate to -and to write- when you make them have problems.

4. Give them human emotions

Is your main character struggling with the death of her dad? Don’t make her strong. Make her break down into tears. Make her angry. Is your character searching for a treasure? Make her feel defeat, anger, and isolation. Is your character in a hospital, fighting against cancer? Make her scared, angry, and hurt. If you ever struggle with figuring out what to make them feel, close your eyes and breathe in. Then, open up a different page on your computer, put yourself in their shoes, and type what you would feel. The words that will pour onto the page will be completely, and utterly, human.