Variety is the spice of life

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A splash of colour does not constitute originality

Perhaps it’s my age but I find it really depressing, the number of books which are all clones of one another – you know, the ‘two-score-and-ten mucky-white half-tones’ spin-offs. Got it now?

It’s not just erotica (although, goodness knows that’s rife with the ‘must be like …’ disease), it’s the outbreak of paranormal stories all of which mimic each other within their genre, that’s truly depressing.

I was absolutely flabbergasted to read the other day about there being ‘rules’ for how zombies, werewolves and vampires should behave. Am I missing something? There are no such creatures and, even if there were, the way in which they behave would be governed by both the laws of nature and their own psychological make-up, not by a series of rules dreamt up by authors with overactive imaginations.

I thought that such rigidity to man-made pseudo-science was reserved for Klingon conventions but I’m clearly wrong.

Someone reading this might well accuse me of sour grapes – if only we’d got the publishing rights for any of the popular books or films in these sub-genres, it’d be a different story, you say – but I’m also objecting to the need for authors to be carbon copies of each other or otherwise face certain shunning. Originality was once the Holy Grail of us publishers but it’s been replaced with a detailed check to see that the latest manuscript submission hasn’t broken any of the seemingly ‘written in stone’ rules about non-existent paranormal creatures.

Writing is an expression of individuality and creativeness so let’s see some of that with some real originality and inventiveness.