Tags:
  1. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    390

    Putting An Homage To The Book/Author That Inspired My Book At The End?

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by frigocc, Sep 24, 2019.

    Basically, writing an absurdist scifi novel, clearly inspired by HHGTG and Douglas Adams. My book's plot is entirely my own, but there's one instance of parallel thinking, and it's a sentient elevator. Originally, it was dangerously close to Adams' elevator (and this was all before I started reading TRATEOTU), but I've since changed it up. It's now a sentient ship AI instead of just an elevator, and it can read minds (it often reads the minds of the ship's inhabitants, and steals their ideas before they can tell anyone about them). The first instance interaction the MC has with it is in an elevator, but that's just purely coincidence (and fits the story).

    I was thinking at the end, after my MC has finished his little space adventure, he'll get the brilliant idea of writing about his said adventures in space. A guide of sorts. A guide to the galaxy. The computer informs him that this guide he speaks of has already been written. By him, of course. He was inspired to write it after a young man by the name of Don or Doc, or something of that sort, once found his way onto the spaceship (and it's implied he stole he idea for himself).

    What are your thoughts on this? I'd like to make this little homage, but I definitely don't want the very nature of my novel being inspired by HHGTG to then be looked at as fanfic or a crappy impersonation because of it. I just think it'd be a fun way to pay homage.
     
  2. LazyBear

    LazyBear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Books about writing is a bit overdone, just like movies about making movies. Better to make books about reading, because then you're targeting your audience. Maybe he just finds the book as a reference.

    The ship AI can be kept thou, but you need many ethical twists to keep it fresh in an old concept.
     
  3. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    3,886
    Likes Received:
    3,091
    You mention that book a lot. It's great that it inspired you, but I would advise not including it or any nod to it in your own book. I'm assuming your book is set in the future, maybe not even on earth. Didn't that book come out in the 1980s? I think it would be best to drop this idea. If your book in published, you could likely end up doing interviews and you will likely be asked where your inspiration came from or what other authors or books had an interview on you. That would be the time to say something about this book and author. However, I would hope you would include some more recent books along with this one. Seriously, it's kind of an old book at this point. I think there's a copy somewhere in my parents' basement.

    As for your proposed ending... don't so it. Of course, you can do anything you want, but writers writing about becoming writers usually is a fail. And, as @LazyBear said, it's sort of been done to death. To be pulled off in any story there would need to be a fresh take on it. I don't think it would be a satisfying ending to readers in your case. Anyone can say, Oh, I lived through this crazy story. I think I should write a book. Maybe your MC is already a writer (I hope not), but if not, he certainly would struggle to write his story and get it published and for people to read it. Is it even 1% of aspiring writers get book deals? And a lot of those writers with unpublished books have formal degrees in writing and contacts. It still doesn't aways happen. It happens, but most of the time it doesn't. Even more realistic is that a lot of aspiring writers never even finish their book. People in publishing know the truth about writing and publishing. Most likely this ending would come across cliche and seem like anyone can write a book. The professionals will see the holes in this ending. And stories ending with the MC deciding to write about his journey is also something they will have seen a lot of.

    The other thing is, why would he look up or care if something has been done? He can do it again. He can do it differently. Or (best option) he can not do it at all. You don't owe this old book or Adams anything. Don't hurt your story trying to give one of your favorite authors a nod.

    I recently had a personal essay published where I mention a certain author's work and interpret it into my own life. I do mention the author and the work by name early on, but I also give good reason for doing so. I didn't write a review. I wrote a story about me and my relationship with this work was part of that. It wasn't that I was inspired by it. Then the references are all subtle but spot on. If you know the work I'm talking about, you will see the essay in a different way, perhaps. But it also holds up if you don't know the work. My essay has nothing to do with being a writer. This piece was picked up and published fast. I still went through a few rounds of revision with my editor. It was mostly to bring up more things from the work I was referencing, making sure I was hitting all the right spots. And this piece is one of the things I am most proud of when it comes to what I've published and written. I think this author (being one of my favorites) would approve, but she's no longer living.

    You don't have to include Adam's and his book in your novel. You can acknowledge this work in another way. Write a separate short story or a personal essay with some sort of nod. It's great to have these shorter things published because you can say in your bio that you're working on a novel. And if you publish in a good place, it might be seen by editors or agents. But try to think more outside the box than just about writing if you decide to try and approach this.

    But I would keep thinking about different ways to end your novel. Stay with the story you're writing and forget about the rest.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  4. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    390
    What do you mean books about writing? Maybe I didn't elaborate in the way I meant too. The MC is not a writer. It's just a quick thought they enters his mind, and the computer that reads minds quickly shuts down the idea before he can say anything. The story itself isn't about a writer.
     
  5. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    390
    When it comes to this point, I will say that HHGTG is still insanely popular. You can't go into any major bookstore without the Ultimate edition still on display in a premium spot. Actually, I'm in a B&N cafe right now, looking right at a whole shelf of them.

    I'm aware not many writers actually get published, but that's not the point. He doesn't even get to voice his idea before the sentient, mind-reading computer steals his idea (or at least informs him that he's already stolen it).

    And yes, I agree that I've seen many books that end with the MC deciding to write about his journey. Hell, look at LOTR. I was kinda trying to flip that on its head in that my MC's idea is quickly shot down before he can even think about it again, and it's never actually pursued.
     
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    1,569
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    Hey, LOTR came out over 70 years ago, they're still making films of it.

    HHGTTG is a cult and cultural classic.
     
  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    3,886
    Likes Received:
    3,091
    We must go to different bookstores. It's not something I've noticed. And it's been decades since I've heard anyone talking about it before you came to the forum.

    I still think it's a bad idea for an ending. You're still ending on the note that your character thinks he should be a writer now. That sort of an ending is a let down for me as a reader. And that kind of ending is probably a hard sell. But you'll do what you want. I was just trying to warn you that it might not be the best move.
     
  8. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    390
    And I do appreciate the feedback. I just think there was a miscommunication. The idea isn't that I'll make my MC seem like he wants to be a writer. Instead, he's quickly shot down, and it's never mentioned again. It's just a throwaway scene (as many of my scenes are).
     
  9. Dan McLeod

    Dan McLeod Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    It's likely that the influence will be assumed, given the popularity of HHGTG.

    I wouldn't recommend a direct reference.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice