title. Welcome. Loyal legions of readers, which I proudly state has DOUBLED
since yesterday (I have 2 now!!), welcome. Readers of SHANNON'S welcome. Allow us this first Council meeting where we decide our limits of awesome and get accustomed to our bearings. More heated topics to come. As anyone who knows me knows, the deep, pihlisophical, religious, spiritual (notice the difference), and politcal matters cannot be avoided for long.
Hear that Shannon? Get ready.
By the way, I wanna be blue next time. And no. I could not find a shade that was not devastating on the eyes. Thanks for asking. Here we go.
Me = Green
So, friends, we're
gathered here today to discuss originality in books, specifically fantasy
Oh. I guess you're starting.
No, that's fine. I mean, we didn't AGREE on that or
anything but that's cool.
Is this thing on? *taps mike*
I'm ready. Interview me.
(She's been dying to do this)
One of our enlightened councilwomen has brought up the problem of Tolkien,
and the inability of most authors to get around using his ideas. The other
enlightened councilwomen mentioned the relevance of that issue with
specific regard to Eragon.
Indeed. And I'd like to state that Tolkien HIMSELF did not have such original
ideas as the ones authors are using. His plot was original, if not noticably
symbolic, but the elements of elves and dwarves are themes recycled again and again. Elves = pure, dwarves = rugged, drinkers, miners. That's not
The second one was me, but I gather that Shea has a few opinions on the
topic. Shea if you would?
I would indeed.
No symbolism? Did you miss the ring?
Eragon was written by a 15 year old. I was a year younger when I
began Breakers, my first novel.
And I'd like to praise both of us for
finishing a book at that age. But his characters suffered.
No I meant it IS symbolic
Really. Eragon has all the
intelligence of...of Pip, from Great Expectations.
Well, see here...
Have you read?...but anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Here's the issue with protagonists, and perhaps this should be the focus of
If your character is:
A) Innocent as a lamb
C) a bumbling idiot
D) mentored by someone old and wise
He should not be your main character.
WHY SO MANY ORPHANS?
You want to know why?
I have an answer
It's because young adult authors struggle with their characters being both
independent and young.Parents restrict their children
I agree. Too true. Except in dear Harry's case.
It adds family dynamics that maybe the author didn't want to
It's hard to write parental relationships?
Well, because they're all so easily chilched, yes
Admittedly, I succumb to this excuse SOMEHWAT with my
protaginists. In most of my protagnist cases, I allow them to have one
parent. Which is better than the cliche orphan
Let's all give her a hand for the great new word, folks! I think we have here among us another Seuss!
Which word? Eh?
In a way. Have you noticed that all newbury award winners have
the single parent thing? Or is it just me?
chilched. also protagnist.
Sorry. Do go on.
Well, that was all really. You've not given our opinion on Ergaon
You may have all realized that I consider him a tad dimwitted.
The plotline wasn't terribly original, but the scenery...the elves...the
language...the dwarves...the Urgals...all dreadfully Tolkien-esque.
I resent that. I really do.
I think that if you're going to claim the fame of writing a book at age 15, you should darn well write your own book.
Well that's the thing about fantasy. It's meant to transport the reader into an alien, fantastic world but the reader now finds these worlds dreadfully
familiar, defeating the CAPITAL point of the genre
I have also heard people complain of other series Eragon borrowed from...pendragon or something....I haven't read the others, so I don't
Well now, I do have to defend him. I'm sure to him, he thought he was being original
It depends on the book.
What of my book? Oh, wait, you haven't read it.. :)
However, there is a definite trend.
I can agree that if I were writing a book myself,
and maybe at some point I will be, it would be difficult sometimes to tell
exactly where i draw my inspirations from, or if they are original.
Getting there, Shea. Getting there.
You'll draw the inspirations from me.
So let's talk about some of the elements that need to go, shall we? As you've
already pointed out, not all these trends began with Tolkien.
Certainly. You start
(Of course I will)
So let's look at Tolkien. What do we know about him?
Englishman. Friends with C.S.Lewis. Converted Lewis to Christianity, in
fact.That's about all I know, do you have anything to add?
...You don't want to know the things I know.
I think....I think they were members of a sort of author's club.
I seriously could write a biography. I went through a phase.
Seriously I know everything.We should probably move on to the
Ah, yes. Great name. Ink. Just like my site...but back to the
Ah-ha-ha self promotion...
Well, I'm just trying to figure out what Tolkien drew his
Classic tales, perhaps? Collaboration with other fantasy authors?
Oh easy.He was inspired by
A) Mythology and B ) Christianity, more specifically,
In any event, we can surmise, as you said, that classic dwarves and elves
were already around. Tolkien sort of...made them more epic though.
And I thought he was Anglican or
Well what made it epic?
You could say fire was always around.
But I made it epic because of the
Yes and no. Dwarves were
transformed...no longer the happy little 7 bachelors
needing a maid, they became an fierce and proud nation.
Elves too...the guardians, as it were, of the light.
Eh, I dpn't know. I'm still angry about Tolkien's dwarves in the
Hobbitas ranted about in my recent blog post
As opposed to either bothersome pixies or dancing sprites.
I guess that's a fair point. You might even say Tolkien made it less
Middle Earth. Where did that come from? Absolute good vs.
Absolute evil, obviously similar to Christianity.
Another thing I don't like. Fantasy needs
to have grey areas.My book is all about grey.
I seriously don't even know who's got the right
philosophy. I mean, I know who is ACTING
wrongly, but I don't know whose POINTS I agree with
Yes...but then there are the orcs.
Twisted elves. Tales of evil fairies abound in Europe, of course. But this
seems more a commentary on people's nature...
Hence my other post about agreeing with your villains
Politics! Let's get into that later.
Yes! Politics and religion, my two favorites
So, bottom line,
Tolkien took a sort of classic line himself. He just cemented the
And therefore, to replicate him is only to hinder your writing.
Break the mold, people.
Back in a sec. Probably...
yeah I gotta get writing
Ok. I have homework. Good chat.
I'd like to add that you can still use dragons and elves in your storylines,
people. Just make them YOUR dragons and elves.
Durvoth will conquer.