Inspiration

[Article previously published in Italian here. English translation made by JoseBach, with the additional revision of Evgenij.]

What inspires your mind?

There can be several options:

  • having a relaxing stroll: while walking outside, your brain will receive more oxygen, which shall also stimulate its activities;
  • having a warm shower: getting warmth over one’s head stimulates the neural circuit’s efficiency (note: this option is discouraged in hot days);
  • listening to music: a certain melody could provide one the right rhythm. A dramatic song could help on how to express tragic emotions, a lively tune could give one energy, and so on;
  • reading a pleasant story: there’s nothing better than a good book to get inspired by!

Don’t forget to avoid copying: you can get a starting point, but do not trace it, rather add some differences in order to shape your own personal style.

Speaking of which, I imagine almost all of you are familiar with the numerous similarities between The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara; I would say a good 80% of you, taking into account the obvious scenes, such as the protagonists traveling across a swamp and are ambushed by a tentacular creature, the sorcerer that fights a powerful foe and they both plummet in a precipice but then the first one returns, the wicked advisor that undermines the king, the royal heir traveling undercover. Few people know though that The Lord of the Rings movies answer back: in The Two Towers scene where Aragorn plummets, falling into the water, then considered dead, is in fact inspired by a similar scene from The Sword of Shannara.

Fewer people however know a certain novel… It’s about a story set in a fantasy Middle Ages with dragons, where the king’s demise provokes conflicts and it’s followed by a red comet that crosses the sky (whose appearance identified as a divine message), while a sovereign, wanting to be the absolute monarch, was supported and manipulated by a mysterious red-dressed individual capable to use an uncommon magical art. There are also a prince that loses a hand, a young man that loves story-telling and climbing buildings and develops foresight and the ability to inhabit the body of certain animals, a princess that escapes and dresses herself as a man, a nobleman that rules a coastal town and feels unappreciated, a mysterious arcane force ready to unleash an endless winter. This event is announced by a warrior dressed in feral animals’ skin.

Oh, how could I forget? There is also a mighty warrior with a mastiff-head-shaped helmet.

Can you guess what I’m talking about?

Here’s a tip: there’s “chair” in its name.

Yes, I’m referring to The Dragonborne Chair, a novel written by Tad Williams and whom George Martin overtly got inspiration from! Everything that was previously stated is also present in his most famous saga! Just look how Game of Thrones has “thrones” in it, which is synonymous with “chair”.

The secret is right there: take the same idea as another did but use it differently, or just work on missed opportunities. How many times have you thought:“Oh, what a nice idea, but so badly executed!”. That’s what you can do!

Or also through the application of some idea.

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