Thoughts about inspiration from popular stuff

Inspiration can come from anywhere. The truth is, the more popular something is, the higher chance is that it’ll – even if unintentionally – influence one’s ideas. Today, I’ll share some thoughts on this topic.

Now, I won’t say that there aren’t any original ideas left anymore, as some might be tempted to do. Some would say – and there’s likely some truth to it – that there are just 7 base story archetypes and everything comes down to one or more of them.

After all, those archetypes are quite vague and can be developed into many shapes. And, even then, the skill of an author has a major impact on the result. And the very same story can be told in many different ways.

Some overly pessimistic people would say there’s no way to create something new these days whether it’s book or movies. They’d say that James Cameron’s Avatar is just Pocahontas in space. That Pretty Woman is just Cinderella in modern time. That Eragon is just Star Wars plot in fantasy settings. That a lot of fantasy comes down to Tolkien-ish type of plot anyway. Yet there are millions of new books each year – and many of them are old stories reimagined in a different time/setting or with some twist.

And some of that may be true. So what?

A story has many aspects – not just the base plot type. All the other parts matter – the setting, the characters and their personalities, the author’s skill in telling the story and triggering the reader’s interest and emotions, and probably more.

Avoiding inspiration from other works is, I believe, almost impossible. And taking that inspiration is not a major problem – as long as it’s an inspiration and not copying a story with just a light paint job. If you like something – whether it’s a character, a theme, any small part of a story, it’ll influence you sooner or later. Chances are their inspiration had to come from somewhere – or something – as well. The trick is to make your story unique in your own way.

So, wherever your inspiration comes from, keep creating.

See you next time.

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