The story is about a world in which the government creates clones of criminals to track the criminal down. If successful, the clone is promised the chance to take the Original's place in life. The clones also have controls in place to kill them at the press of a button.
Brandon completed the outline in about a week in May 2018 and revisited it later in the year. He decided the story might work as an audio original and decided to bring in a coauthor, although he did not initially reveal who it was. Writing happened throughout 2019. Brandon became concerned after learning that the Will Smith film Gemini Man had a premise very similar to that of The Original; he hoped to publish the story before the release of the film in fall 2019, but that proved unfeasible. Recording of the audio had begun by December 2019. By mid-2020, the publisher had decided to delay the release to sometime around August, for reasons unknown to Brandon.