Before I begin, I must give credit to my Twitter friend, Renee McKinley, for suggesting this topic. Originally, I selected this word, but changed my mind. If not for Renee suggesting this again, I really don’t know what word to use. So, on with the post.
Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines juxtaposition as “the act or instance of placing two or more items side by side.” The idea behind the concept is that the items are being compared to one another. This is especially true with films nowadays. With so many studios releasing remakes, critics are quick to either praise or bash rewrites based on the content of the originals. The same is true of books. Whenever firms publish new editions of books, the tendency is to compare the latter to earlier editions; point out similarities and differences between them.
I think writers exercise this concept as well, especially newbie writers. We’ll place our works side by side with others, and compare and contrast them, even though the works are completely different from one another. This can either be good or bad depending on how we go about comparing and contrasting aspects like style, dialogue, world building, theme, and voice. No matter what, though, we have to remember that each work is unique and independent. We shouldn’t base our work on another.
What about you? Do you find yourself stacking your work side by side with others and compare them to others? Do you compare your abilities as a writer to those more experienced than you?