I am finishing a new book entitled The Four Magic Questions of Storytelling set to be released later this year. A large section of the book focuses on where stories come from, and I have spent the past few months collecting some wonderful stories from myths, the classics and real life.
I happened on this story in the New York Times which compares This Side of Paradise, a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald and a true life story about a Colombian immigrant.
As an exercise:
Decide which classic story is similar to your own. Is it an ancient myth, a popular novel, a movie or a story you’ve heard from a friend? How is your story similar and how is it different? What have you learned/taken from that story to improve your own?