For my birthday a friend bought me 'Emma and the Vampires' by Wayne Josephson. I was never the biggest fan of the original novel and this mash-up has left me a little cold. It just felt like the author had seen the success of other mash-ups and thought they would get on the bandwagon and have a go as well.
And this got me thinking. Is there any such thing as originality in storytelling? Most plots, particularly in popular fiction, are formulaic at best. While, as authors, we do our best to be original, we also know that readers respond best to stories that they know - people like the familiar. My own writing has been inspired by novels I have read as well as television and movies. While I had some definite ideas in mind of things I wanted to do differently, there are lots of elements in my writing which follow the status quo.
I'm working on my second novel and there are elements that will be quite traditional. One of the things I'm going to try to do is to play a little more with the idea of mythical monsters. Keeping in line with the Australian themes, I thought I might reject the traditional dragon and replace it with a Bunyip. For those non-Aussies out there a Bunyip is a large mythical creature from indigenous stories said to lurk in billabongs and waterholes. The other idea I was considering using were the mysterious Min Min lights. I'm not sure how it will work - but it will be fun trying.