All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

My Plagiarism

Just to clarify - after getting into a heated argument with two people after reading my blog post yesterday - I don't have any problem with playing games, I don't have a problem with playing MMOs, I don't even have a problem with playing WoW if you enjoy it, what I have a problem with is playing games so much, playing MMOs so much, playing WoW in particular so much that it becomes your life - or in some sad, sad cases, your death.
I think that playing computer games wastes time, and in moderation that's a good thing. You can't keep moving forward on a project without some time to relax and games are a good way to do that. It's when you only play games and do nothing else that things get bad. It's when you focus so much of your time on one game and don't give any other game a chance that it stops the industry from moving forward with newer, better games.
I understand the feeling, but I think that it's bad that people get into that situation to start with. Could you imagine if it was like that with DVD? If when DVDs came out they told you, "to use this you have to first throw your VHS collection in the bin. You can't use them anymore, so long as you have DVDs.' Nobody would have bought DVD, nobody would have invented disc based computer systems, nobody would have invented blurays.
My point wasn't "World of Warcraft; bad, nobody allowed to play it." my point was "Getting so religiously attached to a single game that you have no life and stunt the progress of technology is bad."

Now that we've got that little clear up out of the way, today's post;
When I'm writing I find that I plagiarise other people's work. Ok, it's not plagiarism, not even really idea stealing on the same level of harry potter - try telling me that there isn't any similarity between Frodo Baggins walking around with a ring with the big bad enemies soul on his neck, damaging him slowly over time and harry potter walking around with a necklace with a piece of Voldermort’s soul in it as it damages him over time and I'll tell you how the sky is green.
However I do find that if I see or read things i like I modify things in my writing to be more like them. I don't take other characters and insert them into my work or anything like that, but I'll incorporate aspects I like. For instance, I read through the Codex Alera books a couple months ago - which is more or less an elemental fantasy set in the roman empire - and now one of my projects - an elemental magic fantasy set at the beginning of the industrial revolution - calls it's armies legions, it's soldiers legionnaires and the middle class are 'Citizens'.
It gives more of a feeling of life to the world, makes things stand out better.
Or so it feels to me.
Thankfully I don't do this a lot, but I do it enough for me to fall upon an interesting topic:
If I get- When I get published; will parallels be drawn? Will a critic read through my work and see Shadow, a noble assassin who is working to put a young lord on an unstable throne and decide that I stole the character from the Mistborn saga, or even something I haven't read?
Don't get me wrong, the character of the 35 year old Shadow from my book and 16-21 year old Vin from the Mistborn books are nothing alike, but I can get pretty paranoid with my writing.
Equally, will they say that my Inquisitors are the same as Brandon Sanderson's Inquisitors? Probably, maybe, probably not. Does it matter? I don't know. I do know that comparing anything I've written to Brandon Sanderson is an insult to him and a massive compliment to me, but beyond that...

Regardless, it's something to think about. I've never been in the public eye before; if I manage to publish will I be able to handle it? Will I be able to shrug off the criticism, or will it render me incapable of continuing? I'd like to hope that the criticism will drive me forward, make me want to do better, but we won’t know unless I get to dye my hair purple.
- James

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