Alright, let’s begin where I left off. Last time I touched on character description, and how we can bend tropes to make them unique without trying to look like we just want to be different.
I kind of charged into this without much of a plan, but let’s start a second part here. Story lines and ideas are always being repeated, so why haven’t all of the books been written? The answer? The characters. No matter how many times a story is told, the characters will almost always be different to some extent. If the heroes are the same, maybe their companions are different? They grow in a different way? Maybe they learn a new lesson?
Tropes are there as tools as much as blocks. Think of it like a sword. A double-edged one. If you aren’t careful, you can hurt yourself. However, once you learn to use it though, it’s a powerful tool towards your goals (As long as they include maiming, cutting, or skewering the other guy).
The point (eh, eh? I’m on a roll) is to use what you know. If you know classic/generic story lines, use them. Fairy tales? Go for it. Murder mysteries? WRITE THEM!!! (If that’s what you want.) This is one of those reasons I like reading in my genre, and writing my favorite. Once you start to see the patterns, you can tell just what to bend to make it your own.
Bending is what got us from Norse mythology to D&D. How, you might ask? In the best way possible. Wagner, the composer wrote a piece called Der Ring des Nibelungen. This piece shares many themes and ideas with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. While he denies it, there are enough similarities for people to consider the works as inspired by it. Now, Tolkien’s work was the original inspiration for D&D. Of course property rights, and a law suit gave us the modern D&D we see today. There you go. Norse->Wagner->Tolkien-D&D1->law suit->Modern D&D
The moral? Don’t be afraid to experiment or use a trope. The difference is in how you present it.
With that, let’s continue. NaNoWriMo starts in less than an hour from my posting this. Best of luck everyone!