Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#2
i'm trying to discover work that's written like my own
although my tale itself doesnt exactly stand alone
style aside, the only unique thing that comes to me
is my time spent learning about greek mythology

even myths are often shared though, so it's hard to say
manga might have more that stands out to me in a way
some books are the first of their kind, like robinson crusoe
harry potter comes to mind, but rowling's no defoe

peoconfused

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#3
Over my decades of reading I've read thousands of books. I haven't come across a new or original idea in years, let alone on here on RR. I can think of many xianxia and isekai novels that have the MC being reincarnated into a cognizant baby. That's without putting any effort into trying to remember. That's not to say I don't enjoy reading them. It's fun to see how different authors do their own little spin on things.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#5
Depends. I guess I do occasionally see new things being done, but they're usually little tweaks that makes a story seem fresh and new, they're not really a new concept per se. 

Like No Epic Loot. I love it. RR has a bunch of stories about dungeon cores but Delta is the only one who is this nice soccer mom type of character. She's just chilling down there with her kids (adopted and otherwise), making friends, trying very hard not to kill people. That's a nice, fresh take on the dungeon core genre, even years after its release. 

But the story is only fresh because it's a new take on dungeon cores. Although there aren't many stories out there about the mother archetype, they do exist. The author could've told almost the exact same story about some kind of hive queen character and I don't think it would feel as 'new' to me. Nothing new under the sun indeed. 

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#6

BridgerCampbellCannon Wrote: Just out of curiosity, has anyone come across a genuinely unique idea in any of the stories they've read, here? As in -- something you have not seen done before? SPOILER: I read a story on this site called Selena's Reign: the Golden Gryphon by Elliott Flanders. Perhaps I'm just not well read, but he introduced a unique concept in which the main character is reincarnated into a cognizant newborn instead of a dazzling, hyper-capable teenager or adult. I thought this was really refreshing to see. Anybody seen any truly unique concepts from stories you've read?
I've seen this specific idea dozens of times.

Some random examples of stories and what I found unique in them:
Spoiler :

Something that felt new to me was a "Journey in Darkness", where the main character is a [Biomancer] that controls cellular processes, bacteria, white blood cells etc. for specific purposes, and mutates her own body bit by bit, even taking in foreign organisms. 

If I think about it, almost every story I like has something completely new to it. "This used to be about Dungeons" has a God of Symmetry, and one of the main characters is a cleric for that God, I found that pretty cool. She heals by reflecting your healthy arm onto your broken one, enforcing symmetry, for example. And can fix buildings and stuff, depending on how symmetrically they were built. 

"Pact"/"Pale" has a magic system that I really, really love, where it's extremely open to interpretation. You do magic by basically convincing the magic spirits all around us to do you a favour and enforce the effect you want, and you gain power from flair, authority, tradition, and symbols that they have grown used to. And also always speaking the truth, because the spirits are pretty dumb, and lying confuses them, and they're listening to your every word. How honest you are directly correlates with your power, in a way.

"Twig" has the protagonist slowly growing more and more insane, talking with people he doesn't even notice aren't actually there; products of his imagination. His special power is literally being creative, having a brain that is "meldable", able to look at a problem from different directions. And he has to inject a drug/toxin directly into his brain every now and then, to keep himself "pumped up". 

"How to avoid death on a daily basis", oh, where to event start with this one. It has life-and-death song-contests with mountain trolls. The loser is condemned to die. And also the story has a pretty unique main character, his sense of humour, who everyone keeps a bunch of plot-relevant secrets from during the entire story, so he never knows what's actually going on. Also, it has Laney. I love Laney. 

"The Good Student" has Dizzy. And a pretty convoluted concept of magic, demons, dragons and alternate dimensions which are actually all in your head: telling a good story, and believing it, is enough to alter the world, or trap someone within it.  

"Threadbare" has a main character that is a teddy-bear, who was animated to become "alive" in a way, a [Toy Golem]. Really enjoyable perspective to follow.

"Demesne" has 4 distinct types of "mages", seperate magic-systems, and dragons that are more of a chaotic-storm-that-swallows-the-sky than animal/monster. I also love the concept of irridescence (a magic cancer that spreads everywhere), which only clean/flowing water can cleanse. 

"The Flying Emporeum" has the MC be a shopkeeper who makes potions, that got a special machine that can combine potions and their effects, which is enough to cause a revolution in the adventuring guilds.

"Delve" has the MC eventually make a mechanical magic tank, powered by legs like a bicycle, after he gets reincarnated in a medival world.
I could go on and on, but basically, most stories I enjoy have at least something never-before seen (at least for me). It could even be something as simple as a character so unique-that that I love, and that will stay with me forever, who you simply can't compare to any other character out there, from other fictions/stories/TV shows.

If a story doesn't have something I can confidently call unique, I don't think I can ever love it. Out of a thousand paintings of apples, even the best one would be pretty "meh" in my opinion, no matter the artistic talent behind it.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#7
Casually slides my works into the fold.

On a more serious note, though, I've found the Frontlines Series (By Marko Kloos) to be something new for a relatively recent work. The concept is essentially; "we thought we can fight off all the bugs, but we are the bugs." And while it could be seen as a "Humanity Fuck You" story, the ideas and alienness of the situation make it really worth reading.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#8
While it’s always nice to see one’s fiction mentioned on the forum, I do have to regrettably confirm the utter absence of originality in the story’s central premise, haha. Selena’s Reign is my attempt to bridge the gap between contemporary Eastern tropes (reincarnation, time travel) and classic Western literature and I believe its out of the ordinary for at least that reason, but I can take no credit for the MC’s cognizance during infancy.

More original is my sci-fi fiction, which features quite a bit of AI-generated text for the android’s dialogue and plot developments that even I can’t anticipate. I’m aware of a few other people who have experimented with incorporating AI text in their writing (one or two being here on Royal Road), but they remain few and far between.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#9
There's nothing new under sun. Storytelling exists since the day our ancestors developed the ability to communicate. That doesn't mean a story can't be fresh or unique. We grew up with stories and when we continue to spin new ones, we have four options:

1. To emulate the stories we grew up with 
2. To combine different aspects of different stories
3. To break the stories apart
4. To break the stories apart and rebuild them

None of these approaches are better or worse. All of them are legitimate. Incidentally, it's why I started writing. I had grown a bit tired of the stories I consumed. So, I thought to myself: Why not make it better if you complain so much? Of course, making it better turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined. But I still continued.

My current story Valkyria Heart for examples updated the classical High Fantasy Quest story into a modern setting and combined it with the Psychological Thriller genre. The individual elements aren't unique and encountered in countless other stories, but I think the sum of the parts makes it unique.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#10
Heartstone is pretty unique we'd have to say.

We don't read a terrible amount, but our own story:

- Has the point of view of a physical and emotional bully.
- The physical bully is a girl.
- Focuses on the aspect of 'abused people can become abusers.'
- Said bully makes an autonomous manifestation of her subconscious that tries to actively help her with what she wants.

Maybe not unique separately, but we'd bet our life savings if someone can find another story like this.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#11
Cognizant newborns? There are a few if you like,

Mostly they are Chinese novels and Japanese light novels.

Like, lady baby.

I think there is another thread talking about this and I think it's basically like this.

There is unlimited number of ideas in the world but only a few combinations of those ideas will attract people. Just like music notes, only a few types of notes progression is
pleasant to hear. and only some will become a memorable melody. A melody created from only DO DO DO DO will never make it as a classic.

Neither, I think is the concept of:
An old cockroach stepped on by a human is reincarnated as a human baby, grows up to be an incompetent farmer with the cheat of that he can create manures out of
fresh apples and is as ugly as a burned avocado who married a hunchbacked old grandma and he turned out to be the father of the human that stepped on him in the first place.

Just an example, you see.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#13
Heres the thing. I've read (quickly checking Goodreads)  1.2k+ novels and after a certain point, plots start to repeat endlessly. The "Hero's journey" aside, nearly every "base" plot has been done before. 

That being said what does change (especially with fantasy and LitRPGs) are the magic systems and lore. I've started liking slice of life series that focus more on the magic systems then they do on some world ending apocolapse because quite a few of them introduce something new to the table. As "generic" as having a "system" is getting. a lot of series manage to surprise me with something new. Ar'kendrithyst for example has the system be a protection preventing "old magic" from coming back (having a spell in the system helps reroute anyone trying to cast that spell into using the existing one). Personal spells are designed by stitching together several base skills and there are several really cool interactions with spells based on peoples understanding of what the world is.
Natives who think lightning is just "light" make spells around lightning that work in a way they think it works and the main character who has earth knowledge of electricity makes spells based on how he knows lightning works.

Finally even if something isn't "unique" the first time you read a trope makes you feel like something new is done.

BridgerCampbellCannon Wrote: cognizant newborn
for example is in endless Japanese and Chinese LN (almost a default for isekai) but if you've read it for the first time it feels fresh. 
All the "reincarnated as a monster" type novels start to blend together but nearly all of them have a different non human character and each feels fresh in a way (Even if the rest of the story is falls flat reading about someone being reincarnated as a stick or a vending machine can be fun for a while)


basically I'd argue "There's nothing new under the sun" is 100% accurate on a macro level. But as soon as you start looking at the little things it falls apart for nearly every series that isn't fanfiction. 

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#14

Seersucker Wrote: Personally I don't think people want unique as much as they say they do. A twist on a classic for sure, but I think people enjoy the tropes, setting, and ideas their familiar with and typically look for things to read that share them. I don't think there's anything new and I don't think many people are actually searching for it either.



I agree with people don't really like unique. When a person writes truly weird stuff, people don't like it. I like to add weird twists and ideas to my stories (though I won't try to hide that the main plots of my two stories on here are a little overused). Some of my other stories have more original plots, but they weren't as well received in the past as my main stories I am writing on (my comment on people don't like stories to tread to far off the beaten path). My most out there short story (which I am not sharing here because the writing is atrocious and I need to rewrite it), had people asking me what drugs I was on. I was just having fun coming up with a weird and different story. I don't even drink alcohol.  peolaughing

At the same time, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is a beloved series, so maybe I just need to become a better writer to pull off my weirder stories. 

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#15

BridgerCampbellCannon Wrote: Just out of curiosity, has anyone come across a genuinely unique idea in any of the stories they've read, here? As in -- something you have not seen done before? SPOILER: I read a story on this site called Selena's Reign: the Golden Gryphon by Elliott Flanders. Perhaps I'm just not well read, but he introduced a unique concept in which the main character is reincarnated into a cognizant newborn instead of a dazzling, hyper-capable teenager or adult. I thought this was really refreshing to see. Anybody seen any truly unique concepts from stories you've read?
Kirill Klevanski did that about 10 years ago with the Dragon Heart saga. Really worth a read as it’s one of the best cultivation novels I’ve seen.


The vast majority is a new take on an old idea or repurposing myth.

Even Tolkien did that, creating Orcs from ogres and taking ideas like Smaug from St George, the Neibelung and biblical narratives.

He even reworked the Silmarillion as an amalgamation of old myths. Beren and Luthien being analogous to Tristan and Isolde.

Probably the most interesting I’ve seen is a novel set in three times, past, present and future earth, dealing with an advanced AI’s past, it’s discovery in the present and the future it creates only to destroy everything to start the cycle of experimentation on humans anew.

Really interesting but I can’t remember it’s name.

Re: "There's nothing new under the sun..."

#16
When you think about, every single story is just a remix of the same 26 letters, so there's literally nothing new under the sun. 

But it's even more true when you look at the reason why we read stories. We do it to feel joy, suspense, fear, love, hate - a wide palette of emotions, but still very limited. I'm quite sure that the first humans to ever walk upright had already felt all the emotions we can feel today, so there's also no way to create a new kind of reaction. 

Everything that ever changes is simply the ideas, places and plot points and how they fit into each other, but as a more accomplished author than me already said:


Quote:"Ideas are cheap. I have more ideas now than I could ever write up. To my mind it's execution that is all-important"
G.R.R. Martin
And that's what it boils down to. You know how many stories there have been on love? More than I could ever read in a lifetime. Let that sink in, if you devoted your every waking moment to reading love stories you wouldn't even make a dent in the pile.

But why would you let that stop you? Are people stopping to read stories because they've been satiated? Are they not demanding ever more stories to feel that high again and again?

You yourself as a human being are also nothing new. The same old recipe that's been used for billions of people before you. You share more than half of your DNA with a cucumber, so you're not original at all. A few bits and pieces changed here and there, that's all that makes you different. Does that sap the meaning out of your life? Are you depressed because someone already bore your name, had eyes like yours or even the same dreams?

And yet you have no reason to doubt that you are special. We all are. And so are our works - every single piece of writing a reflection of the infinite that is us. We are an unbroken chain going back to the first time a human being told its stories and by writing we add a link to that chain. Maybe that is all we can hope for but for me it is enough.