Reading What We’re Writing

When I wrote a quick post about mine and Owen’s brainstorming session on Monday I forgot to mention that the cheeky sod gave me homework, homework!!!! He is very keen on one part of our Project Apollo universe having a strong tribal element so he’s given me a David Attenborough series about tribes. I am quite looking forward to watching it if I’m honest.

After Owen gave me this bit of homework I asked him what he thought of Battlestar Galactica, he gave me a guilty, sheepish smile, so no. I felt it would be helpful to him but he said he did not want to be influenced by other work that is similar. I can see what he means by that and I have heard other writers say the same, but I’ve also heard writers say that we need to read in our genre so we can see what other people are doing which will can inspire our own work. Ill admit I’m a big Galactica fan and seeing how the Galactica moves and how the Vipers and Raptors move has convinced me that’s the way to go with the space craft movement in this huge universe that Project Apollo and Project Delphi are set in. I think Battlestar Galactica did a lot of things right which has given me a lot to think about with some of the more background details.

I can see Owen’s point of view though. I’m dire it can be viewed as thieving ideas from others work but to me it is not. I think it’s a great way to thrash an idea out, and lets face it there is always something in one of our favourite books, TV shows, films etc. that we would change.

We are inspired and influenced by what fiction we’ve consumed. Owen is very highly influenced by The Lord Of The Rings, which is evident in what he writes. I think I’m influenced by Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek (mostly the later shows). These and other books, movies and shows do affect how I write. When I was watching Spartacus I found I was writing, dialogue in particular like how it is written in that show. The programme itself also gave me a very good idea for something of my own.

So I think we need to be exploring the genres we are working in, but caution is needed as none of us want to unintentionally steel from other writers (I know there is a specific word for that but of rather life of me I can’t remember what it is)

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2 thoughts on “Reading What We’re Writing

  1. Personally I’m not sure I would watch something similar whilst doing the writing. In the lead up to it maybe, but I like to have a bit of “uncluttered freedom”, if that is the right way to describe it, whilst writing. But that is just my approach.

    • I quite like that approach, when me and Owen get back into finishing Apollo I will watch some of the me ruined shows before I start it again, but hopefully ill be working on the story so I won’t have time to watch them. I’ve always looked at that as part of the research side of writing.

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