Observation On Originality
aka: Twains Observation On Originality
"Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."
Pure genre exercises are almost always fairly well done. You've seen a hundred movies (or novels, or video games) just like this one, they've made a hundred movies just like it, and all that practice has paid off. Every scene is tight, every heartstring is pulled, and nothing stands between you and a triumphant emotional experience except, of course, over-familiarity.
Other works try for originality, and much is gained. But something is also lost. The new bits, being new, are also a bit buggy. Characters, scenes, plot points, and dialog either go too far, don't go far enough, or go off in slightly wrong directions
. Perhaps the unfamiliar is pushed a little too far and becomes alienating.
Which brings us to this reminder: "If you seek novelty, then do not expect a polished experience. If you seek a polished experience, then do not expect novelty."
This observation is a companion to Sturgeon's Law
, the driving force behind Capcom Sequel Stagnation
, the reason Seinfeld Is Unfunny
, and a recognition of the tradeoffs between Tropes Are Not Bad
and Tropes Are Not Good
Also the main reason for the popularity of foreign media in many markets
. For example, Anime
and, to a lesser extent, Bollywood
are popular in America partly because the styles are highly developed but seem surprisingly original (to foreign audiences, at first).