Firstly, I'm sorry if I end up being too vague in my question, but it's really hard for me to express exactly what is the problem.

I was watching a video of a walkthrough of a game (Drakengard) and listening to the story, when then I remember one of the stories I'm writing, which is of a similar type of fantasy (kingdoms, wars, sword fights, a practice similar to magic, etc.), and I started comparing such game's story, to mine. Then I concluded that my story works in a very different way than how it's almost always seen in other works.

However, I don't know if being so different as I concluded, is a good thing, as in it's an original/new story that would standout from the "more of the same" type of stories of the genre, by one the main characteristics be being so different, or if it's a bad thing, as in it's so different than other works because I'm doing it the wrong way (i.e. doing in a way that doesn't work, that anyone with a greater knowledge in writing don't do that because they know that the way my story works isn't effective/good, or just that it isn't how stuff really works, etc.), or if it's just... different, neither better nor worse.

I can't cite examples from my story as it would be necessary to post here the entire story to understand exactly what I'm trying to say, but what I can say is that the world, although it's based/inspired on the real world's medieval period and most of the story works realistically, the way the world/people functions is just different, sometimes seeming that it's not even fiction, because it doesn't work like it would in a fiction (something like that). The people, kingdoms, etc., seem to not "act" in a fiction-like way, but instead, in a different way, but not in a bad way, maybe realistically, or just... "different". It works in a way that's just not like how it works in the other stories.

I think maybe there's 3 possibilities:

  1. It's just bad writing (likely);
  2. It's just my world view that is different (likely);
  3. It's different because it's original (unlikely, although not impossible).

So I'm afraid to keep it that way, and I don't know if I take the risk or if I follow the way the other works do.

  • You're not really going to know until finish some first drafts, and get some good feedback. That being said, if you're excited about it, if you feel that it works even if it's unusual, then you've got material and enthusiasm to work with. You might need to make it more accessible at some point, but you should be fine.
    – Standback
    Jan 16, 2017 at 13:16
  • If you write it well, it will not matter whether your story is different or the same.
    – user5645
    Jan 16, 2017 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


Human being have a inbred psychological need for stories. Like all our other needs, there are specific receptors that have to be matched for the need to be satisfied. If the body does not recognize a story as story, it will reject it. We can't change the reader's need for story, anymore than we can change their need for food or approval or warmth or oxygen.

At the same time, people crave variety in their stories, as they do in their food, but only up to a point. What people are looking for is often best described as the same only different. That is actually what makes writing such a challenge. The same is easy, which is why it is relatively easy to churn out genre fiction. Different is easy, but it doesn't appeal to most tastes. The same only different is the tough one.

It is the same problem a chef in a restaurant has. The food they serve has to be be exotic yet familiar. Exciting yet comforting. Compare 50 restaurant menus and you will find they are mostly very similar in what they offer, but with variations on the theme.

So if your different approach is just different, it probably won't work, but if it is the same only different, it may be just what people are looking for.

  • Well, my story does have some common tropes, it has a modified version of the hero's journey, and even has cliches (although subverted, discussed or lampshaded), but i think the problem maybe is the people, they don't act like they normally do in other works, they seem to be real, but maybe real in a bad way.
    – Yuuza
    Jan 16, 2017 at 20:31

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