1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    A magical tree -- stealing?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Lea`Brooks, May 15, 2016.

    Sorry for making yet another thread about my novel... But I'm in book mode. :p This questions isn't relevant to my current book (the next one maybe), but it's in my brain, so I want to ask. And since I've got everything ready to start my second draft tomorrow, this is what I'm using to occupy my time. :D This is another quick question, long explanation type of things.

    Alright! So magic. I have four gods. Avani (life), Aeron (death), Veiro (spirit), and Inara (time). Hundreds of years before my story starts, Aeron goes crazy and accidentally kills Inara. Her blood soaks into the ground, infusing it with her magic. Since they lived on earth at this time, people witnessed her death, and her followers decided to build a shrine or temple over her death site to honor her. Originally, I planned on having a crystal or something beautiful appear above ground, infused with the magic of the goddess. But then someone on another forum suggested having a tree grow there. And while I really like the idea, I'm worried it may appear I'm stealing the idea from another novel. Let me explain.

    The worshippers of this dead goddess are seen as crazy. It's been so long since she died and all the texts about her have been lost, so Inara has become only a story. However, these worshippers never lost faith. They believe she was real, she died at the shrine/temple before it was built, and that her magic is still contained there. And they don't care that others believe they are crazy. There's only about ten of them, and they're all female.

    If I decide to go with the tree idea, I want Inara's soul to be within it. Her worshippers can touch the tree and communicate with her (if she approves of them, of course). And the tree bears fruit every few years, which contain the magic of the dead goddess. These worshippers eat the fruit in a celebration (coming of age, completion of a training period, something) and obtain the powers of the goddess. Not a lot, mind you, just a fraction. The tree would have white bark, red leaves, and produce orange fruit.

    Is this reminding you of anything? If so, then I'm probably screwed. :p It reminds me of the Ellcrys from the Shannara Chronicles. I didn't even make the connection until after I'd planned what the tree would be like. And now I'm worried. I don't want to appear to be stealing an idea. But I don't want to make the tree different either. So either I go with the tree as I laid it out above, or I don't go with the tree at all.

    So what do you think? Too similar?

    Edit: For those who don't know, the Ellcrys is a tree with silver bark and red leaves. It was once a girl who became the tree, intended to block demons from entering the world (I never read the book, only watched the show, so I don't know all the specific details). It chooses people to protect it and provide it with entertainment. And it also telepathically communicates with the people it's chosen.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Trees figure as mythological "beings" and trope all over literature and history. From Yggdrasil to the Tree of Life to dryads to the Two Trees of Valinor, and the list goes on and on. It's just one of those things that humans latched on to early on as feeling like this thing (tree) must possess something special. I don't think you can "steal" a trope as primordial as this.

    One of my stories contains a tiny version of Yggdrasil that presents in the form of a bonsai. :)
     
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  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's very true. Also, Terry Brooks (author of Shannar Chronicles) got his inspiration for the Ellcrys from Greek(?) mythology.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I was going to make the same point as @Wreybie. I think you're fine using the tree.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think there's any problem at all with using the tree as a general idea. As others have said, it's very common.

    But if you're worried, why not avoid the silver/white bark and red leaves image? If the colours are important somehow, could you flip them? Dark red bark and silver leaves?
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As @BayView mentions (and I'm only now picking up on the more detailed description you gave), I might avoid this exact description because, never mind the Ellcrys, this particular description has been very recently emblazoned into the cultural mind's eye as belonging to a different story.... :whistle: :bigwink:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooooo.... Good point. I didn't even think about GoT. Yes, I'll definitely be switching up the colors. lol I thought about the red bark but worried it would be odd. But with silver leaves, it'd look bitchin'.

    Thanks guys! :D I feel much better about the idea.
     
  8. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    No, no, no... i got this! Forget the tree... make it a bush! and if its red, it can be on fire and... wait, am i stealing from the bible again?
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Actually that flipped color scheme immediately makes me think of so much opportunity to talk about light play and shimmer and dappling and how it looks from a distance.... lots of stuff there. :agreed:
     
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  10. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Are you done with these books yet, cuz I really want to read them.
     
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  11. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    :rofl: Thanks! Not done yet, unfortunately. I'm starting my second draft tomorrow.
     
  12. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    White Trunk, White Leaves tipped in black, bearing red fruit?
    [​IMG]
     
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