Does fantasy need to be original? - Page 2

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  1. #11
    Member NathanielleC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbeast32 View Post
    As a truck driver, I've visited many truck stops. Among the most prominent travel stations are the ones with gift shops. I once saw a table full statues such ad these:
    Attachment 23047
    There's a world of difference between writing a book and making assembly line nick knacks.

    But the challenges of any writer is no different than any other. Fantasy is a very competitive genre, especially the kind of stories that you have in mind. Nine times out of ten, someone picks up a book that has very similar themes and concepts to the others because they simply like that genre. Some people read Chronicles of Narnia because they loved Lord of the Rings. Some people went to see Dungeons and Dragons because they love Dragonworld, Dragon Slayer and Dragonheart, respectively.

    If you're that concerned that your story will drowned in all the muck then maybe you need to consider a different angle all together.

    Dluuni made the excellent comparison to pizza places. In my town we had two different pizza places to go to. There was one the one my parents always took us to and then there was another one called Anne's. Anne's had an autograph from Dom Deluise, who once ate there so many years ago. I liked going there because it was nice going to a place where someone well known had been because it made me feel like my small town that no one had heard of was special. I like going to my childhood pizza place because it reminds me of fond memories of when my family was together and we did something fun and enjoyable.

    But now as a grownup, I go to the place where the pizza isn't 90% salt and bland tomato sauce.

    So your challenge is to write a story in the fantasy genre that is not 90% salt and bland tomato sauce.
    I write because if I did anything else with the ideas in my head, I'd go to prison.

  2. #12
    I feel the medium is irrelevant and it has all to do with the writers ability to spin a consuming story.
    I don't really mind light copying, one of my favorite books was based of a stolen idea, but I don't think that should translate into writing style. That is what makes it unique for me.

  3. #13
    Hey Moonbeast33.
    No doubt fantasy has to be original.
    In my opinion, it is better to treat this as a creation of your own world, where all the creatures inhabiting it are the fruit of your imagination.
    Tired of dragons? Create your creatures!
    The only important thing is that the words, titles and titles were easy to read and remember.
    I wish you good luck

  4. #14
    Some tropes have become old. But people who write stories are often told to focus on the characters. Because plots are not as original as characters. It seems I write plot based fiction though, which science fiction can be often. I wish I knew what character based fiction is considered. My guess is that it is where a character makes a decision that could change the rest of their life forever. When they have to make a choice that can make all the difference in solving their problems.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  5. #15
    Member Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    The first book that came to mind in reading this discussion was Christopher Paolini's Eragon, of which I read about 2/3rds. I actually really liked it and appreciated his effort--although I must confess I was having much more fun uncovering which works he had based this character or that device on than on the story he was telling. He's been fairly successful since then, so I think it's safe to say he found a way to make it all his own.

    Another writer who comes to mind is Terry Brooks and The Sword of Shannara. I read it shortly after reading Tolkien's LOTR as a teen and was appalled at how derivative it was. Yet, he too made it his own. A couple years back I grudgingly read one of the foundation stories to his series, the one about the gypsy morph, and was pleasantly surprised by its originality.

    What both of these fantasy writers have in common is that they kept doing what they loved, they made it their own, developed their craft, and then they kept on producing increasingly original works that would go on to become hallmark works in their genre.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  6. #16
    Mine does.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  7. #17
    My work in progress has a giant eldrich monster whose body covers the sky and blots out the sun and just stares down at the world all day with a big red eye. It's not the villain, it's not related to the plot, it's just a weird quirk of the world I threw in because I thought it was cool.

    I'm fairly certain that few if any fantasy has something like that but I guarantee it's going to be the first thing that an editor tries to pull if I ever get this thing finished. Originality and novelty are important, and nobody will find a purely derivative work great, but being innovative is not a virtue in and of itself (in fantasy or otherwise).

    Just because eating your cheerios with a post-it-note is innovative doesn't mean that it's not still dumb.

  8. #18
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbeast32 View Post
    Is Fantasy as a genre judged based on its originality? Is Fantasy that appears generic solicit negative reactions from more than I? Are successful fantasy authors lauded because of their creative take on the older methods, or because of their skill in the craft?

    So why do I so often hear harsh negative rhetoric concerning fantasy novels that fail to be different?
    should fantasy be judged based on their original concepts and ideas?
    As a fantasy writer with a beltful of tropes, I hope not! But every reader judges things individually. Some like ideas, some like characters, some like settings, some like the style of writing, and so forth. A lot of fantasy - particularly the stuff that sells hugely - I would say is not mind-shaggingly original; GoT, Robin Hobb's stuff, all of that kind of thing, where there are generally land masses, magic, dragons, pointy ears, and some sort of royalty. But what they do provide, and what I personally think-slash-hope fantasy readers want a good dollop of, is immersiveness. That's what I like anyway, and what I aim for in my genre writing. Of course there are people who don't care for GoT and the like. I guess they probably would judge it on originality, and I suppose there comes a time when you've read everything under the sun and want something more. Is GRRM concerned about it? Possibly not


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    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
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  9. #19
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quirkiness101 View Post

    Just because eating your cheerios with a post-it-note is innovative doesn't mean that it's not still dumb.
    That's it. I'm going to do this tomorrow.

    I'll be the first, & will report back!


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  10. #20
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    That's it. I'm going to do this tomorrow.

    I'll be the first, & will report back!
    Do you really need that much fiber in your diet?



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

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