Discovering A Lost Passion

To me, nothing gets my creativity flowing like Technically Heroic does.

I’ve tried my hand at many things: HTML coding, Photoshop, drawing, LEGO robotics, video production, and more.  I’ve explored so many different ways to express my creativity, but I always come back to writing.

After spending a month working on a music video and learning to use Joomla! on my website, I finally got back to working on my trilogy today.  Because my currently published book has needed some revision that would ultimately lead to seemingly tedious work, I kind of put it on the back burner for a while.  But now, with my music video finished and my website in order, I decided to dive in and work.

technically heroic coverI started by opening iTunes, compiling a playlist of some of my favorite Star Wars music (nothing like ‘Duel of the Fates’ to get you in a writing mood), and opening my document.  Then I began to read.  At first, I thought that I would be bored to tears going through my first story for probably the fifth time, but as I read, making minor formatting changes along the way and listening to my Star Wars music, I began to remember why I love working on my story so very much.  The only part of the whole series that I consider boring started to draw me in closer and closer, awakening memories of the visuals my mind had conjured when I first wrote the words.  Truly a wonderful feeling.

Now, after reading the opening three chapters of Technically Heroic, I feel like going and working on the second in the series ASAP, while at the same time going into Photoshop and creating matte paintings of locations in the story.  I want to channel the creativity I’ve stored in this series into my other means of expression!  My own creation is sucking me back to itself, back to a place I haven’t been in a while – a place I’ve secretly missed.  Knowing that I couldn’t go and write fresh stuff right away, I came here.

I always try to find a moral of the story in my posts, so here’s the one for this post:  Don’t fear going back and reading what you’ve already written and read over many times already.  Boring as it may sound, most likely it will prove otherwise, drawing you in like a new reader (this is especially true if you’ve been away from it a while).  So put on the music that suits your book, open up your document, and start reading.  It just might prove rewarding.

Thanks for reading my little gush 🙂

How Much Inspiration Is Too Much? – Eragon vs. Star Wars

Sometimes authors draw inspiration from existing novels, games, or movies.  To a new author, drawing inspiration from the creativity of others can lend a much-needed element of coolness to the new work, but how much drawing of inspiration can be defined as too much?

For example:  I recently read (well, listened to the audiobook of) Eragon for the first time.  The story was interesting enough, but some points of the storyline troubled me. Being somewhat of a Star Wars fan, I noticed these similarities:

  • Book intro started with a rebel lady getting captured
  • Scene shifted to a farm-boy living with his uncle in an evil empire headed by a powerful good-guy-gone-bad
  • Evil came to the farm, killed uncle, boy left with old man
  • Old man reveals past as mystic warrior (Jedi, Dragon Rider, what’s the difference?)
  • Old man dies protecting boy, helpful new hero comes
  • Boy and hero rescue lady, flee to rebel base
  • Epic battle ensues, where boy is the savior

That’s the basic storyline right there.  No joke, and I’m sure there are some finer points I’m forgetting.  So what’s the real problem here?

Now, don’t get me wrong, Eragon was still fairly enjoyable.  Parts of the story seemed original enough to me, so I listened to the whole thing.  But there’s a deeper issue here than Christopher Paolini’s apparent Star Wars clone (pardon the pun).  I’m not going to hate on the guy, but I will admit that I’m somewhat disappointed.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my own story has some Star Wars influences, but those have mainly to do with equipment and not the storyline itself.  I may be somewhat biased, but I think there’s a significant difference there.

Sometimes another person’s ideas are just too inspirational to resist, so you take the idea, tweak it a little, and then integrate it into your own works.  In some instances, the idea may become an important part of your work (why am I using the term ‘work’?  Because this topic doesn’t only apply to writing or film).  Sometimes it doesn’t really matter, especially if it’s a comparatively small similarity and you aren’t the only one using it.  But when your storyline seems to be matching another, it gets hard to honestly call it original.

These are my thoughts on the matter, and I’m very interested in hearing what you think.  If you’ve got an opinion, please leave a comment on the post and we can further the discussion from there!