Going through old notes…

Ever go through old writing and wonder if that was yours of if you were proof reading someone else’s? I have it so bad, I have maps that I am not sure if I made or not for a fantasy world I was working on.

The positive? I go through some rough drafts and think, “I did that? Dang, that’s pretty freakin’ good.” On other stories, I think, “Wow. How unbelievably trite. And now it’s been ten years, and fourteen other authors have published that exact story.”

What do you do when a great story idea you had ten years ago suddenly (okay, not so sudden) turns out to be passe’? Yeah, yeah, there’s nothing new under the sun and all that, but when you start talking genre, the comparisons inevitably come to the fore. The first one that comes to mind for me was what I considered Goodkind’s total rip-off of Jordan, through the first three books. Jordan himself said he patterned his first 100 pages after Tolkien’s.

And no, I’m not talking myself into using trope.¬† Or tripe. And no matter how someone else writes an idea, if you’re creative in the least bit, you still have your own voice. I get that.

Oh, hell, let me give you an example. “Game of Houses.” That was Jordan, back in the mid-nineties. Ring a bell? George R. R. Martin? Game of Thrones? It was cool as heck when Jordan wrote it, inspiring me to base a story on the same concept. And it had to have influenced Martin. But even those concepts were based on European history in the Renaiscaince era when states such as Venice, Milan and Florence vied for territory and power through intrigue, feints and subterfuge.

Guess it just shows.. everyone IS a copycat. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and all that.