Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Originality in Writing


Editors say they are looking for an original story. Most stories are built on universal themes (friendship, loss, anger, etc.) and plot structures with a typical beginning, middle, and ending. Characters face challenges and overcome obstacles. So what’s new!
Manuscripts can and should be creative, but probably will never be totally original. The idea is to make your work stand out from thousands of other books on the subject. One way to foster originality is to rely on your own individuality. Think back to your childhood. Remember your thoughts and feelings and how your imagination soared. Every person has a perspective molded by the world in which they live.
Some stories lend an air of originality and some seem little more than a stale retelling. To make a story feel fresh with an element of originality, write your first instinct for action or dialog in a scene; then question everything about what you have written. What if the character did the opposite of what you wrote? Would the scene still make sense and would it bring some originality to the scene?
Surprise the reader. The unexpected builds reader interest in the scene and creates your own individual style. Therein lies the core of originality.
Some things never change: We want the good guys and gals to win and the bad ones to lose. We are happy with a satisfying ending. But in getting to the ending, we need to push our imaginations out of the comfort zones to create opportunities to lead the reader on a new and surprising journey.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Cuckoo Review. Please ensure that you submit your writing in the correct form. It saves us a lot of hassle and means we’ll be able to get your work on the site quicker.

The word limit for all pieces is 500 words. If you’re writing a feature article then the word limit will be set when the piece is assigned.
All submissions should be emailed to as an attachment (.doc). Please ensure that all reviews include YOUR NAME and:
*Title of book
*Date of publication (if not already published)
*Link to author website
Submissions guidelines at

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

The Best Advice I Ever Heard. Chicken Soup for the Soul. Have you ever watched a movie or read an article that really had an impact on you that you haven’t been able to forget? Do you have a friend or family member who gave you some advice that you didn’t necessarily want to hear but really needed to hear that stuck with you and directed you to make positive changes in your life?

We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a little thing that improve your everyday life, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely, we want to hear about them and how they made a difference.

Deadline: February 28, 2018

Submissions guidelines at

Thank you!
Nancy Kelly Allen has written 40+ children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.
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