But along the way there are some criticisms to be addressed. Namely, the basic premise of this story is stitched together from the styles, conventions and plot lines of other works through the last few decades. One that springs to the top of the list quite easily is Battle Royale, a story about a group of teenagers abducted and forced into mortal combat for someone's twisted purposes. This is really fucking similar. In fact, it's also really similar to quite a few stories through the ages.
|Pictured: Proof that Hunger Games and Battle Royale are very different|
|I shit you not, this man was supposed to be the scariest thing anyone had ever encountered.|
What I do have a problem with is the defenses that have been shot back at these criticisms. Though they come in many flavors, they all say the same thing "there are no new ideas anymore."
|What life would look like if we had no new ideas.|
The truth is that there's a loss of perspective. If you watch Battle Royale and watch Hunger Games back to back, you wouldn't walk away with the impression you'd seen the same story twice. The same would go for Running Man to Hunger Games. In fact, you'd find that if you watched any good works that had similar plots you'd find that you rarely felt like they were really "ripping off" each other. The reason is because a lot of people mistake what exactly is the aim of telling stories.
An original idea is great, but you have to make that original idea something compelling to the reader. If you have nothing but an original idea, something that I recall pointing out was a mistake back during my "new sci-fi" rants, then you've really kind of missed the point. Your ideas aren't enough, there has to be a story. And when you have that story, you have to realize that people are going to read this and are going to be deciding the virtue of your story based on the things they can relate to rather than the things they cannot. In other words, if your idea is too original (read: nonsensical), people are going to hate it.
|Plot? No. Characters? No. Original method of flashing lights and colors at people? Yes.|
|"Remember that time you were lobotomized and had that crazy dream you were a stripper that fought robot samurais in a mini-skirt? That was a wild summer."|
|"Why is this character talking to someone else on a screen they hold in their hands?"|
|"What is this nonsense about electrical cars?"|
|"A black man as President? The hell you say."|
I know what you're thinking about now: "What the fuck did I just watch?" The answer, as I just said, was avant garde. Unique, wasn't it? You see, the problem with Avant Garde in any form is that it is inaccessible by anyone who's not part of the avant garde mindset. No one would really pay good money to see 2 hours of what you just saw in the video above. No one would buy a book to read about...whatever the hell that was. And that's what you'd end up with if you didn't have some sense of convention to wrap around your original idea.
And that thing about conventions, sometimes, it's okay to remember that there are elements of a story that, even if you could come up with an original alternative, should be left as is. For instance, if you're doing a sci-fi story set in space it is perfectly acceptable to use a space ship at some point. Yes, I know that someone else has done it before, but what else are you going to send them in, a school bus?
Hell, the line I just said is pretty much the basis of the age old "standing on the shoulders of giants" quote. Without radio there would be no television and without television there would be no computer monitors to read this on. Without John Carter, there probably wouldn't have been a Star Wars or Superman. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons you should show love to John Carter too. I hear it's still about 200 million in the hole.
And to show my originality, 2 videos this time.
Also, don't forget to give my books a look. They're also a unique take on old ideas.