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  1. UnknowingWriter
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    UnknowingWriter Member

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    About Stories and other things

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by UnknowingWriter, Mar 23, 2008.

    I have found some very interesting things about the elves. Mainly, never pull a Christopher Paolini. His stories are to cliche and unoriginal.

    So, first off, when making a story think about somethings you already have. Is there something that contradicts what you stated earlier? Is the character a Mary-Sue? A Gary-Stu?

    Arya. She wears a lot of leather, even though she claims that she is die-hard vegetarian and would never kill a beast without reason.Why the tight leather armor then? To make her sexy and unoriginal.

    Eragon. The Original Gary-Stu. Paolini even admits that Eragon was originally himself. He just gave him a story and events that Paolini wants to do. He is extremely dumb and childish, but every once inawhile just goes ninja on us and turns into a different person.

    Then we get to the fact that we haven't really proven something. The Empire in Eragon we never really prove is evil. Name one thing that they have done that is evil that was Galbatorix's direct order. The Ra'zac have done evil things, but Galbatorix destroyed what even the elves call a Corrupt system of riders that did nothing.

    We can see that Paolini also plagiarized a lot in his stories. The Elves, they are fading away....why?He never explains, but we have something. J.R.R did. His elves started to fade away, and so do Paolini's

    The entire plot is stolen from Star Wars...listen to this.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    "A boy of foggy origins lives with his uncle in a remote, backwater region of a vast empire headed by an evil Emperor and his right hand man, who was once prominent in an ancient order of guardians with mystical powers.

    An object of vital importance to the rebellion against the Empire is transported from a princess under attack to the remote region of the Empire, where an old man lives who once belonged to the ancient order of guardians, and was part of the rebellion. The farmboy comes across the object through sheer luck. The boy seeks out the old man to learn about the ancient order, but eventually has to return to his uncle’s farm. The boy finds that it has been destroyed by fire by the Empire’s agents, and his uncle killed. The boy sets off with the old hermit, who gives him a weapon unique to the ancient order of guardians, a weapon that is also, coincidentally, the boy’s father’s.

    As they travel, they train. The old hermit has the boy focus more on swordsmanship, but also teaches him a little bit about the ways of the mystical order of guardians. The boy meets up with a rogue who is full of surprises, but turns out to be fiercely loyal, for all his proclaimed selfishness.

    The boy also begins having visions of a beautiful woman imprisoned and in need of help–the same princess who sent him the object of importance.

    The boy decides that he needs to rescue her, even though he doesn’t know her; further, he thinks of her only as beautiful. The old hermit dies as a sacrifice so that the boy can escape from danger; the damsel is rescued, and they must set off to the rebellion. The Empire tracks them, and shortly after reaching the rebellion, they are attacked. A massive battle happens, one whose outcome will either save the rebellion or destroy them completely.

    The boy proves his worth with heroics during the battle, but his crowning achievement is his destruction of one of the Empire’s most prized weapons. The boy is aided in this by one of his friends, who arrives at precisely the right moment.

    The boy is lauded a hero.

    The boy has a hallucination of a powerful master who can teach him more of the ancient order. The boy travels to the powerful master to learn the ways of the ancient order’s mystical power. While there, he grows very powerful. While he is away, the Rebellion regroups in a new area.

    Just when the boy is on a roll with his training, and has grown very powerful, he has a vision of his friends in great danger. He decides he must go to help them. His master warns him not to go. The boy promises that he will return. He leaves.

    He finds his friends just in time and is able to distract the enemy so that his friends will remain safe. He engages in one-on-one combat with a foe who is revealed to be family–he finds out that his father was the right-hand man of the Emperor–his father was the one who betrayed the ancient order and helped kill them.

    The boy is shocked and ultimately defeated, but not killed. He loses his weapon and finds out that someone dear to him has been taken by a minor villain, and promises to find this person."

    -Arget Hackslayer

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eragon? Star Wars?!?!




    This is why plagiarizing is bad. Just look at this.

    The main thing that I'm trying to get across is that you need to get a solid outline of things, don't try to mix things up, think about what your saying before putting it in. Don't make your character wear leather if they are a hippie elf.

    Also, who says that elves have to be perfect? Why Peaceful?I read a good book where the elves were perfect, but they loved to kill and wage war.


    So here is a checklist:

    1) Don't be a Plagiarizer
    2) Don't make a Gary-Stu ((Yourself with superpowers))
    3) Don't make Mary-Sues. (( Perfect characters))
    4) Don't be like Christopher Paolini
    5) Have fun
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Well... I'm guessing you didn't like Eragon (Ever notice it's 'Dragon' but the first letter in the name is the next letter after 'D'? Totally weird XD).
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Following a similar plot pattern is not plagiarism. Copying someone else's actual writing, even if you change words around to disguise the source, is plagiarism.

    Of course, if your story doesn't have anything new to say relative to another story your readers are familiar with, they are likely to feel disappointed. Even if you show the same events from a different point of view, your readers may find something of interest. For instance, if you retell the story of Beowulf from Grendel's point of view, you might have a great story, even though the story of Beowulf is ancient and similar to thousands of other tales.

    Shaking up cliches is a fine starting point for a story, though. Why shouldn't a hippie elf develop a leather fetish?
     
  4. MarcG
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    MarcG Contributing Member

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    Mostly because it's incredibly hypocritical! :p

    "Don't eat those steaks because you're supporting the beef industry which destroys the environment!" she says, waiting for her friend to leave so she can eat the steaks unnoticed.
     
  5. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    EDIT: You know, originally I was going to make a jocular post about how I notice the flaws more when people point them out, but then I went on a tangent of fury. Also I can't help but realize that all these long series come out and I'm so cynical and jaded by the time they end that I'm not as interested. Case in point, Harry Potter.


    You know, the whole Star Wars thing isn't as bad as everyone makes it out, it's based on a thing called the Hero's Journey, a concept created by Joseph Campbell. But beyond that, damn Paolini treats that thing like his Gimp. I didn't mind all the Gary Stuing, I didn't mind the blatantly contradictory elves. (Though she is a Rebellious Princess, but then, we not say "She wears leather because she's a rebel"? Because that would take thought. Though I guess technically whether it comes from a cow or not, leather armour serves a purpose, and would probably seen as an exception from an already dead animal. But now I'm just in a quandry over the whys), but man, the riding of the Hero's Journey really annoyed me. Halfway through I couldn't help but think "man, I've seen Star Wars, so I know where this is going." I think the closest thing to a Curve Ball he threw at Joe Campbell was having the Redemption with the Father bit be tweaked ("Father's dead, Frak. Let's go with Redemption of the Brother).

    And damnit, stop complaining, the last books' aforementioned sadistic treatment of the Hero's Journey disillusioned me enough, because anything about vegetarians I automatically tune out, and I can kinda ignore the fact that the dumb little twat goes from stupid to superswordsman in the span of a few months, but using something as predictable as the Monomyth is like putting the ending first. Well then again, using an "evil" Empire is also going to give the reader the hint that it's going down.

    Oh well, at least when he gets away from the dumb kid everyone else has all the good parts. Roran's story isn't just good, it's great, which makes one wonder why I'mrunningoutofunflatteringtermsforEragon has such a Cliche Storm going on. And that creepy child Elvira or whateverhernameis. Hell, even La Resistance down in Arab land. What is wrong with this guy? Oh yeah, writer's a sixteen year old who's lived with his parents and been homeschooled, therefor living a dull and sheltered life. Sucks for him, still no excuse.

    But as I said two Paragraphs ago, "damnit, stop complaining." I already blew fifty bucks on the last two, I'm going to blow fifty bucks on the next two, It gets harder to read it when the flaws I didn't notice without my Critic's Hat on are pointed out. Though seriously, if that third book doesn't shape up, I'm gonna want my money back.


    And yes, you Mad Hatter, I did notice that Eragon and Dragon are one letter different from each other. That was the first thing I noticed when I got the book, and I swear you could hear my eyes rolling.

    Also: Godsdamnit:
    God I hate this kid. A month, God, I want to slap him. Most people try to do a little better than that. Hell, I've been doing mostly Worldbuilding for a year or three. I'm almost to the point where I could tell you the seasons. I'm moving on to different planets in the solar system. God damnit what a hack.

    Blah, at least when he wants to write something other than Dragon Star Wars he'll know the ropes.

    Also: Tanget: I think the problem with the new Star Wars was that it didn't follow the Hero's Journey like the original did. In fact, the original was written specifically with the Hero's Journey in mind, if I'm not mistaken Lucas even consulted with Joseph Cambell. Also the writing was subpar, but...
    Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars
     
  6. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Joseph Campbell didn't invent the Hero's Journey. He just coined the name. The Hero's Journey has been present in Literature foe thousands of years. Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Jesus, Mohammad, Frodo and Aragon can all be connected as characters who all go through the Hero's Journey. It just wasn't called the Hero's journey at the time.

    I agreee about Arya. She's the most boring and dull character in the series (And I think one of the most crticzed characters for the abov mentioned reasons).

    I don't see the problem with Gary Stuing. All my characters can be said to represent a different aspect of myself. I do that because It makes it easier for me to understand my characters, because they represent something I see in myself. Mary Suing? I love the occasional Mary Sue character (Though Arya is a horrible example). Considering that I write stories with heavy focus of Good vs Evil I like having five groups of characters (The Pure Evil, the half evil, those caught in the middle unsure of where they are going, the half good, and the Pure good). I like the dynamic. THe perfect character provides a excellent catalyst for other other characters as they go through their own story lines.

    Personally I didn't mind Eragon. I'm not going to give Paloni any Prizes for writing, but at least he kept me resonably entertained for eight hours with Eragon and ten with Eldest. I'll probably read the last two books too jsut so I can finish out the series and say "Yeah, I read the Inheritence Series and I'm still standing woot!" :p
     
  7. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Well, I know Joseph Campbell didn't invent it, he just studied it and published papers on it, but his hero's journey "Template" is what George Lucas used. And after something as big as Star Wars, it's going to take a bit of a shake up to make it interesting.

    I'm going to read the last two books because I want to know what happens with the freaky little girl. And Roran, but he's with Eragon now, so he'll probably turn boring and stop kicking so much ass. Did Roran's girlfriend die? I can't remember. hmm.
     
  8. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    @Edward - Actually, a huge number of stories are based on "The Hero's Journey" aside from Star Wars...The Matrix, LOTR, All About My Mother, Dark City etc.

    So using "The Hero's Journey" wasn't Paolini's problem. Paolini's problem was that his writing just sucked.
     
  9. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Well, I'm not saying the problem was in him using it, but clinging so tightly to it that it's almost Star Wars with Safira instead of the Millennium Falcon. Lord of the Rings and The Matrix are noticeably different. The Inheritance and Star Wars though... let's just say that they came out far enough apart that it's easy to tell which one is a rip off.
     
  10. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Ah, then I agree whole-heartedly.
     
  11. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    Dragon???Eragon??? lordofhats is going crazy. how did you see that?
     
  12. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Sigh. God have mercy on my soul but I'm doing it. Its spelled "Saphira."
     
  13. Luminous
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    Luminous Member

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    You just made my night sir.

    Lol. :)
     
  14. UnknowingWriter
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    UnknowingWriter Member

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    Sorry for being offline for awhile.


    Still, I mean, Gary-Stu'ing isn't that bad, but I don't like it when a writer is basically writing about him/herself. Put aspects of yourself in sure....but never just add something to yourself.

    I liked Roran's story also. Although it was short, it was likely the only thing that Paolini didn't steal.
     
  15. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Ah Hatter, if this was the old days you'd have to pay a wergild, because you slay me.
     

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