Monday, May 21, 2012

Influence

Lately, I've been trying to think what I could compare my WiPs too. I've heard these questions: "What was your influence?", "What books would you compare this too?" Honestly, I don't know. I know the genre, and sure, there may be a tinge of something else that is already out there, but I can't come up with an answer for my WIPs. I know some agents like that in the query, and I'm not sure what I would write.

I also wonder what authors think when they see their work influences other books. Flattered? Upset? I think I would be flattered if my work was already published. What if their work influenced another author but that author got published first? I guess the question is how close is the influence? I'm not talking plagiarism, just little bits and pieces of some of their work in  another authors story. Now, of course the story can be totally different, but what if the MC all of sudden takes on the same characteristics as the other authors MC. Should the author be angry? Throw up their hands and say forget it, losing all interest in their own story because of one little similarity. Sure it may be jarring, but I think the one author should put their nose to the grind and write one kick ass story. The worry should be minimal, because the worry eats the creativity that would push the story further.

What are your thoughts?

I think we are influenced by many things and it shows in our work, even other authors' work. Every author has their own voice and even though their character characteristics may be similar the story itself can be written entirely different. Even the same story and same characters will be written differently by different people. Think about all the takes on Snow White nowadays. So, write on my friends and be true to yourself.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Have a wonderful day!

7 comments:

  1. influence is all around us. it is tough when something is very close to your own, maybe because we think our own ideas are so original. i try not to let similarities shake me anymore and i just write because the story needs to be told :)

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  2. As long as the influence is used and/or taken in a positive way, I can't see it as anything but good. We're all here to help each other grow, even if it's unintended growth.

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  3. I agree--even if you find a book that has similarities to yours, keep writing. Keep telling the best story you can. It will become your own. Happy Monday, Christine!

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  4. I think they'd be proud to see their work meant something to someone.

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  5. If my work influenced someone else I would be stunned!

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  6. What a very interesting post. I think you're spot on, if I were published I would be extremely flattered, but if I were unpublished I would be upset. I think it's the difference of having a presence and a voice established in the market already, or having that undermined because someone copied from you and now you're the copier (even though you're not). I guess for me the real answer is to be careful about who you share work with, especially if it's unrepresented or unpublished.

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  7. I don't think there are any original ideas left.

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