It is easy to say that it is hard to come up with original ideas when you are writing. Just walk into any bookstore and you will be immediately overwhelmed at the selection of books at your disposal. There is a book; it seems, for every topic imaginable. It can be daunting when you are first starting out as a writer to find your style, or come up with original themes that you feel aren’t cliché or overly written about.
In some form or another people tend to group stories into genres and then further classify them by the plots in the story. There are, as well, many “recipes” that have been developed over time to generate a good story. That is to say, a little bit of action, perhaps a love story woven into the plot to spice it up.
What will set a new writer apart from feeling as though they are stealing a theme or copying a plot to someone else’s story is for that new writer to write from their own personal experience. It is important for someone who wants to be set apart from other writers to do so by putting as much of themselves into their work. A good example of this is painting. As a painter develops their craft they begin to prefer certain brushes, or favor different colors, or perhaps they enjoy certain brush strokes. Whichever is the case they are beginning to develop idiosyncratic tendencies that are apparent in their work.
This is very much the same with writing. As a new writer begins to develop themes from a past experience or views they have on certain topics, they are drafting their writing style. As time goes on they will add more and more preferences to their work, or write from a certain viewpoint. Sometimes a person enjoys writing about one character and then wants to see where their character will go throughout their life and dedicates a book series to that character. They may very well develop their own successful “recipe” for the type of books they write.
A key to having a unique style is to enrich yourself with the world you live in. Good writers that have seen adversity or traveled to far reaches of the world have seen and experienced so much in their lives and it shows through their work. Ernest Hemingway lived in Spain and fought in World War I, these experiences solidified his identity in his writing and his stories.
Many people will use personal experiences to drive their story, or they will litter their themes with personal beliefs. This is an effective way to stay motivated when adding a unique touch to the plot. Everyone has a different perspective of the world and a variety of people can see the same events and interpret them in many different ways. In that respect a persons own viewpoint is as original as it gets, now all that is needed is to put the words to paper. In any case as a new writer naturally progresses in their career they will build a distinct style that readers will identify the writer with.