1. Oak7ree
    Offline

    Oak7ree Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Finland

    Originality to a space opera / space western setting

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Oak7ree, Dec 31, 2012.

    I'm planning to write some short stories about a space ship captain and his crew mates. I got the idea from a TV-show named Firefly and few science fiction movies, like Blade Runner and Star Wars (original trilogy). My biggest concern is that I don't feel my work has much originality. The world has this great government from Earth, which wants to take control all over the colonies and planets, rebelled colonists forming an alliance (which lost the conflict "Colony War"), no aliens. I think my work just seems too much copying and too little real innovation. What do you do when you have to face the problems with originality? Should I erase my plans from my laptop or refine it more and more?
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    There's not much originality in Firefly in terms of story. What makes it special is the interactions among the characters.
     
  3. Knight's Move
    Offline

    Knight's Move Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    What I do to help myself think when I am stuck is to ask questions of myself. What is it about those films that you mentioned that you really loved and that captured your imagination? What elements of the settings most contributed to those feelings? What are the stories that you are trying to tell and how are they different from your inspirations? How should your setting differ to appropriately support those differences? Hopefully that will help get you thinking critically about your setting and your ideas.
     
  4. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    2,380
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Whenever I get inspired by a movie or tv show - the way to get away from copying it is
    to sit down and discover what you love about the show.
    Make a list.
    Once you can see the formula you can add your own aditions to it. Fiction borrows
    from everyone - the trick to make it your own is when you add your own ideas to
    the mix.
    The this-is-how-I'd-take-it routine. That's when a familiar idea becomes original.
     
  5. FrankABlissett
    Offline

    FrankABlissett Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Sault, Michigan
    LOLs to Star Wars being original. I mean, tales of knights, monks and princesses are a couple thousand years old. The basic outline of the first trilogy, for that matter, follows closely the template of the Hero's Journey - itself at least as old as writing (likely thousands of years older). Stylistically, Lucas drew from WWII themed movies and samurai movies.

    And that's not to denigrate the movies - I still like them.

    More important than the "idea", though, is the writing itself. Steven King, George Lucas, Gene Rodenberry, JK Rowling - all freely brag about their influences. What they did different was to put some TLC and skill into the execution.

    -Frank
     
  6. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    Firefly was a flawed masterpiece in my view. What made it great were the characters and their interactions. Joss Whedon is a master of that aspect. What made it terrible were the truly horrible clashes between the wild west and the far future where everything jarred. The stories themselves though were simply westerns with a civil war twist. Simply replace the end of the civil war with a new one in space, indians with reavers, and the crew with cowboys / bandits.

    My advice is to worry less about the story line. It's been done before whatever it happens to be. Concentrate on the story telling and the characters. Just think how great Firefly would have been if the damned dialogue hadn't been from the 1870's and people weren't train robbing, carrying six shooters and wearing costumes from the wild west. You can do a western in space without those ludicrous affectations.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  7. Oak7ree
    Offline

    Oak7ree Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Finland
    I got your idea - the most important thing is not the idea itself, but the story and the characters, their interactions etc. The story and characters are the key.
    Thank you all, your opinions have helped me.
     

Share This Page