Friday, November 9, 2012
Follow Friday #23
Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.
Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings, or pulled-to-publish fanfic?
Honestly? I don't mind them too much, if they're original enough. I mean, there's a fine line to walk between similar-but-unique and this-looks-like-plagiarism. I mean, even at sixteen, I've read enough books to know that there are a lot of similarities between books, and that those similarities don't somehow make those books inferior.
Now it's just my opinion, but books are actually better when they draw off of preexisting ideas. I mean, cookies come in all types - chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar. But if your "cookies" consisted of frozen ketchup and raisins in a bowl, can you really consider them cookies anymore? Same with books. You want to deviate from the normal as much as possible, but if you go too far, then it'll be incomprehensible.
Whether you think so or not, books are all similar to each other. They are all stories comprised of words. They all tell something that is happening (or has happened). They are all beautiful, no matter how much you dislike this one or loathe that one. They all have characters, a setting, they are time and place and look-at-what-is-happening.
So, really, books are similar and books are unique at the same time. That's what makes them so special - you can tell the same plot a thousand times, but if you put a unique spin on it each time, then they'll all be loved.
Not that you can confuse this with plagiarism. Or cliche-ness. Those are copying; copying is for the writers with little skill of their own. None of that "oh, I'll change Character A's name and rename Quiditch and take out the wizard's robes." If you did all that and then added fairies with the ability to blow your Mogwarts to smithereens, and then told us this was all located in the magical kingdom of Hessia, then you might have something.
But do you understand my point? I know that rambled a bit. I can't help it. But similarity in books should be celebrated just as much as uniqueness. They both need to be equally present in a book, or at least present, so that the book can be recognized as a book and not some... I don't know... nymph in disguise. Or perhaps a nymph's corpse; they live in those trees, people!
Anyways, I'm stopping here before this turns into a rant about dead nymphs and frozen ketchup.
What do you think? Are similarities really that bad? Have a blessed weekend!