Everything has been done before

When I was originally working on my “first novel” (mentioned in my blog post below), I was in a couple of writing groups.  Submitting my book’s first few chapters to the groups to critique, I was surprised to get the same feedback from most of the groups’ members: my novel reminded them of Ender’s Game.

At the time, I hadn’t read Ender’s Game, but I knew it by shear reputation; it was the most critically-acclaimed bestselling sci-fi novel of the 1980s.  To be compared to such a monumental work was a tremendous compliment, or so I first thought.

I soon began to worry that my “magnum opus” had already been written.  I resisted the urge to read Ender’s Game, fearing that I’d learn that that my game-changing, mind-f*cking, breathtakingly-original novel was cliche.

Well, I finally grew some and recently read Ender’s Game.  And I can see why it’s so popular: it’s a game-changing, mind-f*cking, breathtakingly-original novel.

And I can see why my fellow writers compared my “first novel” to Ender’s: Both are sci-fi.  Both have young protagonists.  And both involve an alien invasion.

But that’s where the similarities end: Ender is a child; my “first novel’s” hero is in high school.  Ender’s Game occurs in the far future; my “first novel” happens in the present.  Ender’s takes place on various worlds and space stations; for the most part, my novel unfolds on Earth.

So thankfully, not everything has been done before.

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