Why consistency is better than originality

The title might be a little misleading, I guess it should read “why consistency is just as good as originality”. But when it comes to your writing and publishing career, especially if you’re an indie author, then consistency really is king.

For readers, a book that gives them a completely new perspective and a fresh take on the genre is amazing. But they might love it just as much as that other book that features all their favourite tropes and feels like a warm hug every time they reread it.

And which one can you write more quickly and easily, and publish more often? I’d say for most of us its the consistent book rather than the original book.

Consistency makes a publishing career

As an author, you might have a few truly original books inside you, and I absolutely encourage you to write them! But they can take years to finish because you need the right inspiration, the right headspace, and let’s be honest, we’re much more particular about these special books-of-our-hearts – the weird little WIPs we’re nervous to share in case nobody else likes them – than we are about the ones we know people will love because we’ve put the old, tried-and-true tropes to work.

Your readers love your writing, your voice, your world-building and storytelling. And their absolute favourite thing? When you bring out a new book. So give them what they want and consistently write and publish, don’t keep them waiting because your shiny, original story isn’t quite perfect yet. Get it perfect in the moments of inspiration and flow, when the muse is kind and the sun shines on your soul project.

But in the gaps between, write that comfort book. Employ all of your favourite tropes. Fan of friends-to-lovers? Write it. Secret royalty? Give it to us. And don’t feel bad if it’s not the most original, earth-shattering, mould-breaking story you’ve ever told. We all need those books that feel like coming home and putting on our oldest, cosiest sweater.

Original is overrated

You’ve probably heard that there’s nothing original left in this world, and it’s not far wrong. The rare book that comes out and shakes up the industry, turning everything that’s gone before it on its head, is all the more exciting because it’s just that – rare.

Humans love familiarity. We love comfort. Our brains are really stressed out by the new and different. There’s a reason why tropes are a thing, why so many stories follow the same old patterns and yet are still told centuries, if not millennia, later. It’s because we love them, they make us feel safe, they give us an experience we crave, which is to know how it’s going to end, how the story will turn out, and where the twists and turns will come.

Storytelling is the oldest method of spreading news, warnings and information. Hearing the same story, told in different ways, over and over again, is how we learn. So don’t shy away from retelling, tropes, and even prequels, sequels and tie-in series that fans of your other books will love.

It might be fan-service, but at the end of the day, we’re here to serve our fans, so why not give the people what they want?

Lyndsey

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