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Inspirational Reads

A Look into the Future?

October 6, 2008

Sorry for going into a shell over the weekend and not posting. I was going to try and plop a new one out every day last week, but then I had an all-day meeting on Thursday which foiled my plans. Then, this weekend, I didn't even turn the computer on at home, except to check email Friday evening and play a few games of Spider Solitaire, the world' most perfect game. I recently decided that yet another online massive multiplayer strategy game that I was playing turned out to be fucking lame and filled with social retards and so I decided to quit last week. That pretty much means I waste a lot less time on the computer at home these days.

Anyway, I'm back and I thought I'd drop this nugget on everyone. When reading through Penny Arcarde's archives, I came across this comic. For a moment, I stared into the future and thought, "Ah, crap, this is how it's going to be, isn't it?" See, there's this thing called plagiarism that hits the publishing industry hard. It especially seems to affect the whole science fiction and fantasy genre hardest. You think I'm full of it? If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, try reading the Iron Tower trilogy by Dennis L. McKiernan. See if you haven't seen or read that story before somewhere else.

I mean, I understand it. There's only so many stories you can tell. I've been dabbling in other genres recently, writing out a few stories just to get a feel for how to flesh them out. It's not erotica or anything, but it's definitely outside of my "comfort zone", if you will. Still, when I pen one of these stories with characters that I've created, I can't help but think "Haven't we seen this crappy story before? And wasn't Sandra Bullock in the movie?"

I contend to this day that there's a difference between writing a story that is original but similar to something else (such as every crappy romance novel ever written) and going out and copying someone's ideas, story and characters and just plugging in new place and character names (Terry Brooks, I'm looking at you...). Still, I wouldn't be surprised if I had a similar experience to this one some day:

Click on the picture to enlarge it. Makes for easier reading and less squinting.


Frank said...

That's one of the reasons I've abandoned so many of my attempted "novels." I always end up explaining the plot to someone, and they say, "Oh yeah, wasn't that the plot of some movie/bestseller/porno movie that came out recently?"

Then I go to my room and cry.

Chemgeek said...

I'd like to invite everyone over to my blog to read an accounting of when I had my gall bladder removed. I've broken it up into 5 parts.

It's a very good read.


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I've quit reading other stories in the genre for that exact reason, Frank. I kind of did a reverse, though, thinking "Wait, my story where a girl talks to animals is kind of like this dude talking to an that too close?" And then I'd get all paranoid.

My wife does think that the book I'm currently shopping bears a striking resemblance to Princess Mononoke, so maybe there is something there. I'm as bad as that which I hate.