Outside influences

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Silver

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Outside influences
« on: February 04, 2018, 10:40:41 AM »
What do you think has influenced your writing the most?

For me, it has to be video games. If I'm honest, a lot of stuff in my fantasy world has origins from various RPGs. Obviously I've taken the elements and made them as original as possible, but sometimes I read over scenes and think 'Yep - that's kind of like Dragon Age' or 'I subconsciously borrowed that from Final Fantasy'! 

Also a lot of classic mythology.

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: Outside influences
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2018, 12:45:01 PM »
My interests in history, anthropology, and archaeology have helped me a lot with world-building. My even older love affairs with paleontology and zoology have inspired me to populate my worlds with all kinds of fierce beasts. I would say that, overall, science and history have influenced my fantasy worlds more than the supernatural stuff you find in mythology or folklore.

Some of my plot ideas come from playing strategy games like Age of Empires, Civilization, Rise of Nations, and Total War. These games are all about leading a civilization and commanding its military, which is why many of my protagonists have been rulers or warriors (and often combinations of the two).

There's also the so-called "Afrocentric" movement, which I've gotten involved in for almost fifteen years. I don't consider myself "Afrocentric" since I'm as pasty an Anglo-American guy as you can get, but exposing myself to their perspective has piqued a special fascination with Africa and its place in world history. It's also made me more sensitive about the portrayal of African and Afro-Diasporan people in the media I consume. Unfortunately, there is a lot of pseudoscience and pseudohistory floating around within the "Afrocentric" community, but other times they provide valuable correctives to the standard Eurocentric narratives most people in our society are taught.

As far as inspiration from fictional media goes, I'm a big fan of the Jurassic Park films (except for the third). They've been an obvious influence on how I portray dinosaurs. Another favorite movie of mine has been the Disney adaptation of Tarzan, which is a major reason I love jungle settings (well, that and I spent a big chunk of my childhood in Singapore). Narrowing it down to literary influences, the biggest ones would have to be "sword and sorcery" fantasy tales like those of Robert E. Howard and Charles R. Saunders. Not only are they packed with action and adventure, but I really like their vividly descriptive prose.
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Elena

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Re: Outside influences
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 02:41:56 AM »
I think my passion for history and geography, and also for music, especially various countries' folklore, influenced heavily my writing (since it's historical fiction).

From the writers, I'd say Alexandre Dumas, Walter Scott, Michel Zevaco, Paul Feval, Victor Hugo, Raphael Sabbattini, Karl May. These are my favourites, all swashbucklers with the exception of Karl May who's with westerns. But I take inspiration from movies, from people around me, from various sources.




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JayLee

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Re: Outside influences
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 09:31:03 PM »
I have a shocking one. No one will ever guess this, ever.

Fairy tales.

I know, right??

Long story short, I love fairy folklore and mythology. As well as folk tales and fairy tales that don't involve fairies. Huge influence in my works.

I also noticed as a child that my writing had very LOTR moments. That has somehow faded from my work, and I'm still on a quest to figure out who I'm cannibalizing/mimicking now. Because we all know sometimes it just happens :P But LOTR introduced me to the realm of high fantasy, and that's where I tend to squarely stay. Before that I wrote horror and science fiction primarily (and 10 year olds do not usually have a good enough grasp on horror, or science to pull that nonsense off, though I could name the life cycles of 6 major star groups due to research for my stories). And that was because I thought it was the most creative one could get while writing. The only places one could make up modifications to the world and put them in action... then I learned I could just go and make up a world entirely and I never looked back.

I would say that, overall, science and history
Hooray for science and history influences!!

I still haven't been able to kick the science. What can I say, I'm a geologist at heart. If I can find a way to talk about the fracture patterns of obsidian, I will.
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katfireblade

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Re: Outside influences
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 12:54:35 AM »
Fairy Tales.  :D
Totally my first love, and still one of my oldest.

Tolkien, of course. One could say he ruined me--I fell so much in love with his lush descriptions and slower pace, where you could savor the novel and not just read through it like an action movie, that I sought to emulate it, undoing many good habits for some very bad ones.

Music and poetry, as well. These are deeper influences than I often give credit for.

And my secondary influences which are probably responsible for story elements, themes in my writing, or even some of my writing style? You can blame Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, Zilphia Keatley Snyder in general but especially her Green Sky series, C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, Simon R. Green's Forest Kingdom and Hawk and Fisher series, the Thieves' World series, Joan Aiken's Wolves' Chronicles, all of Elfquest, Madeline L. Engle, Ray Bradbury (especially The Martian Chronicles), and pretty much any H.P. Lovecraft or Edgar Allen Poe.

For singular book influences, The Apprentice by Deborah Talmadge-Bickmore, The Crystal Gryphon and Gryphon in Glory by Andre Norton, The Maze in the Heart of the Castle and The Tightrope Walker by Dorothy Gillman, and especially (and bless her) The Truth About Unicorns by Bonnie Jones Reynolds.

Also a special shout-out to Leonard Cohen, Shel Silverstein, Xanadu by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Dried Apple Pies by Anonymous, Abou Ben Adhem by James Henry Leigh Hunt, and my grandfather for reciting The Ballad of East and West by Rudyard Kipling at every family gathering. He knew it cold.

These things echo all over my writing and my life. If I had to choose books and authors who shaped me at the core, it'd be all of this and a few I'm probably forgetting just now.

And mythology and Fairy Tales.
Never forget the Fairy Tales.  ;D