1. Albirich

    Albirich Active Member

    Oct 31, 2013
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    A minor concern

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Albirich, Feb 2, 2014.

    I have this minor concern that scratches the back of my head at times and I wondered if any of you have ever felt the same or if you got some helpful advice.

    I've been working for one year and a month with my novel, and I got to know what Game of Thrones ( A Song of Ice and Fire ) was after three months of working with it, at first I drew my inspiration from Tolkien, then I drew my inspiration from both George R R Martin and JK Rowling.

    My novel is epic fantasy, but dark and not so much fairies and dragons, if you get what I'm saying. It's huge and filled with history, their own ways of doing things, rich with people and religions, continents and seas.

    Now to the core problem, as most of you know I've only read for the past seven, eight months, and that is only A Song of Ice and Fire (I have ordered two other novels) but yea...it kind of limits my material to assist my writing. I do have a similar chapter system as A Song of Ice and Fire, my novel focuses on three major houses and will expand throughout the series. (Each house got 2-4 PoV's)

    So what have I gotten only from George R R Martin?
    The way he does chapters and pov's, as I have not read anything else, though I noticed that Tolkien close to the same.
    A better understanding of big nono's and such (via interviews of George on youtube)
    His dark realistic touch (though I had it slightly in mind before I knew about his series, but I thought it never had been done before)

    My story is not even remotely similar to his, though, except that it is dark fantasy set in a medieval era. But still I feel like ...it's like he showed Coca Cola to me and now I'm making Pepsi? Hehe, no I don't know...maybe I'm just rambling stuff that doesn't even matter in the end.
  2. Earthshine

    Earthshine Member

    Dec 27, 2013
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    Stop comparing yourself to Tolkien and Martin. I know you're looking at them for inspiration, but it seems like they're actually doing quite the opposite. No matter what you write, it's never going to feel good enough if you compare it to Tolkien and Martin. So try to just push them to the back of your mind and make the story your own. Good luck :)
  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    I'm not quite sure what the problem is. Keep writing. Definitely read some other stuff, but instead of worrying about your writing, get some beta readers or a critique group to help you with it.
  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    It's completely normal for a new writer to be influenced by other writers. Over time, you'll come to develop your own style and way of doing things. So don't worry about it too much.
  5. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributor Contributor

    Jan 3, 2011
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    A place with no future
    It's normal to get influenced from what we read and most, if not all writers do that. (I actually saw one author say in an intervju that she stopped reading books to not get influenced by others, but I think that is quite rare.) We learn different things from different authors. The trick is to read a lot of different books. That way they probably won't be able to track down your source of inspiration to one single author.
  6. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Mar 17, 2013
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    Well, for one, George RR Martin didn't invent the wheel. His style, his chaptering system, his tone, everything's been already done -- even better than he did it, though that's subjective, so I think you can stop worrying. There's a lot of fantasy available -- especially nowadays -- that has a low magic dragon fairy factor. Your genre just doesn't happen to be high fantasy, that's all.

    Secondly, we're talking about a guy who was in his 40s-50s when he started (and wrote) ASOIAF. His life experiences must've affected the story to a degree; what he wanted to say and how he said it. One might say that, among other things, Tolkien wrote about the world wars while Martin writes about colonialism and otherness. Your "big issues" could be about something else. Moreover, your age and experiences, even nationality, are bound to give the story and the characters different angles. Martin is also a history buff, afaik, and based a lot of ASOIAF on the Wars of the Roses. No wonder he's big on historically accurate details (of course nitpickers can always find flaws). You might have a different approach, a different civil war as your source of inspiration; and maybe your world looks like Medieval England technology-wise, but it's actually a matriarchal society, or something.

    If you read Joe Abercrombie or Richard K. Morgan, you'll probably find yet another angle. Eventually your work will become yours and just yours. Sure, people can draw parallels, in fact, that's a good thing, 'cause then the fans of Martin will have something else to read after he's finished the series and they've read it all.

    Also, there must've been things about ASOIAF that made you think "I could do that better" or "that was stupid." When you do those things your way, it will also set your work apart.

    Good luck, and keep on writing.

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