I find it interesting that the MPAA has an award category for Best Original Screenplay. It makes me wonder if there is such a thing as original. Seeing how there is a category, there are some stories that have yet to be told. But I think stories that “original” are far and few between. Nowadays, there isn’t a story that hasn’t been told by someone else. The difference is how an author spins a story to his liking.
I think the term “originality” has lost some of its luster over the years. If you look at the influx of recent best sellers, there’s not a theme or sub genre that hasn’t been covered already. For example, before “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the author known as Zane wrote a novel that covered all the bases and was a standard for erotic fiction. “Fifty Shades” brought this genre into the limelight.
Perhaps the most glaring example of lost originality is in the young adult genre. “The Hunger Games” brought about the sub-genre of Dystopian YA. Since the success of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, numbers of dystopian YA novels flood bookshelves, such as the “Divergent” series, “The 5th Wave,” and “The Maze Runner” series.
Originality, I think, is a novel ideal that has some of its meaning, but I think as long as authors create new ways of telling stories that revolve around universal themes, the term “original” will continue to be tossed around. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I think “original” stories might become an endangered species, if it hasn’t already.
What about you? What’s your definition of “original?”