Thursday, January 26, 2017

Writing Things #14: Repetition

Apparently it is National Get Stuff Done day.
Which means it's time to start editing my NaNo novel, start catching up on RPs and school, and begin a blog schedule.
-sips coffee-
So here I am after a hiatus with a post to resurrect the blog.

This also is going to be a rant/ book review, because this post was inspired by something read recently.
And OPINIONs. I have them. XD

Hopefully short post, but you know me sooo....could turn into a longer one than expected.

Repetition in Stories 

I've faced this fact many times while writing and reading: It's hard to be original. 

There are so many books in the world, that my ideas have probabaly been in some work or another, that it might seem like I am blatantly ripping off someone else. 

-begin book review- 

     So, I read The Novice and The Inquisition, the first two books in the Summoner Series by Taran Matharu. To be honest, I wasn't terribly impressed...but I read them because I had been following the author and had wanted to read them badly.  ^.^ 
     Number one reason being Fantasy (NOT disappointed at all in this), and number two being magic (ALSO not disappointing. XD There were wendigos and minotaurs guys. -faints-)
     Nicely developed fantasy realm, good transport, and amazing writing, coupled with a few cliches that I could handle(Orcs are the bad guys, magical prodigy MC, YA teen angst), and the books were pretty cool. :D 
     Would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read YA fantasy. Some brief morbid scenes are written down, but nothing huge. The characters didn't seem horribly fleshed out to me, very YAish emotions and such, especially with bullies, so it was almost predictable, but maybe (again) it's just me. :P 
     Altogether, I ignored the cliches because the author UPPED THE GAME BIG TIME in The Inquisition, which is making me die to read the next book in the series, Battlemage.

- end of review - 

What do these books have to do with today's post? 
Unfortunately, there were A LOT of things that pulled me away from the story because I knew that I had seen/read it somewhere else. 
  • Eragon beginning (Pretty sure the MC is also Eragon's age too. Hunter in a small mountain village avoiding the war meets his magical companion and has to escape in order to learn more about the magic. Gruff mentor, dwarf and elf sidekicks team up to join in the war. MC has parental issues, and finds out his parents are more important than he thought. I could go on. :| Not helpful because people say that Eragon is also a rip off of Star 
  • Hogwarts school (where all the summoners go to learn about magic. Teachers and students all live there. Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter rivalry vibes.) 
  • AZOG (pale orc, leader of the orcs, shows up at some point, giving me a 'hey Azog, I see you man' vibe) 
  • Dragon Age Inquisition (Mainly in the second book: the alternate universe (fade) where all the demons are from. Also politics reminded me a lot of the DA nobility. Also, the cover was green, and the MC has a mark on his left hand...) 
  • Hunter/ Hunger Games (there is a final tournament where summoners are paired off to fight each other and their demons.) 
The repetition of elements was a bit distracting from the main plot, if you get me. :P 

As I was reading though these books, I kept finding these elements of other story lines that didn't necessarily take away from the series, but they didn't really add much either. 

And that got me wondering: How much is too much

Of course, The Novice and The Inquisition began to make it's own path and own story further along, but towards the beginning, I was wondering if I was reading Eragon with a dash of the Hobbit and Dragon Age. 


Repetition is hard to avoid 

Cliches are super hard to avoid too. 

How do we, as writers, avoid such things from happening? 

In my personal opinion, there is not much we can do. :| I have had a hard time myself realising that most of my ideas are not original. 

My solution? 

Take the norm, or what is expected, and twist it as only you can. ^.^ Make it different. 

I may not have the original idea of an anti-hero with an alter-ego, but I can for sure make it my own by having him be horrible at using a bow and have a job feeding chickens. XP

You could have a sci-fi novel set in space with a staple spaceship, and you could twist it by having the ship run on gunpowder or equip it with weapons that need to be drawn like crossbows. 

In the Summoner series, the idea of demons being summoned is not new, but the author makes it new, by adding his own demons. 
Mites (scarab beetles), Salamanders (small lizard imps), and Lycans (dog like), make the idea different. 

I hope that makes some sort of sence... XD 

Welp, that's all I've got for today. 
If you've stuck it out this far, I applaud you. This is much longer post than anticipated. XP 

Questions? Comments? Be sure to leave them in the fields below. I'm always up for a discussion! :D 

Don't forget this Month's Blog: Hannah Heath

Have a great weekend all! 
Keep Smiling! -Saphira :) 

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