In 2005 Twilight made its debut and became world renowned by the time the film came out in 2008. Since then vampires gained a resurgence of popularity with many trying to make the next vampire hit, whether it be in written or visual media form. Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Daybreakers, Vampires Suck, Let The Right One In, The Vampire Diaries etc. The list can go on not just in vampire fiction, but many others too. For example at its most simplistic form: A plot where people are to fight each other in a deadly game of survival where only one or a few can survive in the end. Possibly for some other entity’s entertainment. Am I talking about The Hunger Games or Battle Royale? The Condemned or Gamer? MadWorld or Manhunt?
It is hard to be unique when many are inspired by the same work. Some purposely try to replicate the success and use many of the same traits while others just happen to have a similar idea due to having similar inspirations of a work previous. Overthinking on how to give your tale a unique twist can be maddening if you research and find out many others have had the same ideas. There are ways to try and make your work stand out from the rest.
I think the most important way is giving your tale the feelings from your being and not trying to replicate it from a previous story. The voice and emotions that you bring to a story can keep it feeling different despite it having common plot that has been seen before. There is also the fact that changing or tweaking one little point in your work can make the rest of the story spiral into something greater. Vampires hate the sun? Make a world where it is night most of the time (a similar quirk that 30 Days of Night used). A story where the protagonist finds out he’s special and goes to a facility or school with other unique people and have adventures (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or an X-Men story?). Instead of it being a teen who finds out he’s special and goes to school, give a twist where an adult finds he has a unique ability, joins this special facility, and now has to teach youngsters about this ability while trying to understand his own (well not so unique as I’m copyrighting this idea as I type). Just one changed fact can pay off big in the long run as your story will form to meet the needs of it.
Even if many of us are inspired by similar works and come up with plots similar to one another it is how we approach these things in our minds and bring those feelings into our tales that can make them shine just as bright, but differently from the rest.
~ Nu Tael