It’s important to be original, but is it possible to be TOO original? Further, is it possible that we over-value originality?
Dan raises the question in regards to James Cameron’s Avatar, which made lots of money and was widely enjoyed, but which was also roundly criticized for being a story we’ve already heard before. Christopher Paolini’s Eragon is similarly criticized. It is solid execution upon a story cycle that science fiction and fantasy fans are already intimately familiar with.
Howard talks about borrowing “uplift” from David Brin, Mary points out that David Brin borrowed it from Christian Missionaries in Africa, and Brandon then ponders aloud whether this ‘cast is going to be of any use to any of you.
Each of us have struggled with this. It’s exceedingly unlikely that you won’t. The point? Originality is not the be-all, end-all some make it out to be, and authors need to take care not to pursue it to the point that they miss other objectives.
Meme of the Week: “If I pee far, it’s because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” — Howard Tayler
Writing Prompt: Regarding riding mounted beasts -- make the cost to the rider so high that it's almost never worth it. Now create circumstances under which it's always worth it.
Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Sharpe's Rifles, by Bernard Cornwell, narrated by Frederick Davidson
This episode of Writing Excuses has been brought to you by Audible.
Visit http://AudiblePodcast.com/excuse for a free trial membership.
Audible Free Trial Details
Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.