We are all telling the same story. We are just telling it in our own way, our own voices. There is no plot line I can invent that has not already been covered by someone else, better, worse, excitingly, indifferently. It’s been done. What makes it unique is my voice, my take on it.
I once tried writing with someone. It was like trying to make a story out of two separate languages. Or by one person painting while the other one sings. Sure, it could be beautiful, but the differences were glaring. I have utmost respect for writing teams who compliment one another and make their voices blend.
I think of my story like a great piece of music. First, I had to find the melody. My own voice. This has taken a lot of time. A lot. I’ve tried a few genres over the years, a few different mediums. I had to find one that fit me best. And over the years I found my main harmonizer. That person whose own song, own story, best complimented mine. It wasn’t easy. Because sometimes those chords which seem so perfect can turn sharply into something harsh. And we added sub-plots to the story we were weaving, which made it more intricate, complicated and beautiful, of occasionally chaotic.
And again, it’s the same story. A person, looking for meaning and connections, finds a person looking for meaning and connections and they try to find those things together, in one another. It’s a story most of us are working on.
So when I am writing I try to listen to great pieces of music. I try to put myself into a state of mind where I can interject myself into the melody of each characters’ journey. I want to imagine how their story would go, if they were sitting down in my kitchen and talking to me.
Because it’s not a new story, what I write. It’s just told in a different voice.