Here is the second weekly update for my story, The Royal Woodcutter. With church events last week and working on a devotion this week, progress has been slow. But hopefully I can pick it up next week.
Chapter 12 is done. My current plan is 26 chapters for the first book, so I'm almost halfway there! Plots are starting to build up at this point, and I'm excited to see the story come to life.
In this update, I want to talk mainly about inspiration. Every writer gets inspiration from somewhere. Other books, people they know, personal events: everything affects what goes into a writer's story. There is nothing wrong with inspiration, as long as it doesn't breach into plagarism. So what did I pull inspiration from?
Most of the characters' personalities comes from people I know. Robert, the protagonist, is naturally based off of me, the writer. His thoughts, conflicts, and actions all are biased by my peronality and thought processes. Lyda is also somewhat based off of me, or at least the old me. I used to be very shy and reclusive, wanting to join in with the others but not knowing how. I used those past feelings and struggles and exaggerated them to develop the princess. Anyone who has met my brother knows immediately that Pyrel is based off of him. Other characters are a compilation of people I know or met.
I've gathered inspiration from books as well. Several years back I was introduced to the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and greatly enjoyed them. As my story progresses, a group of people are introduced which are similar in style to the rangers in that series. Other little things here and there have also been taken as inspiration.
I take inspiration from real life and cultures as well, mixing them to make my own. For example, Byrinth is based off of just basic English medieval era: castles, nobles, and the like. However, to put a little twist and make Byrinth my own, they use gongs for alerts and warnings rather than trumpets or bells. The style of the Western Villages is a lot different, with lots of wooden buildings and defenses (drawing inspiration somewhat from Rohan in the Lord of the Rings movies); however the culture itself draws inspiration from the Irish and Scottish, with the instruments consisting of pipes, flutes, and whistles.
Real life events also influence what is in my story. There is an odd little creature that gets introduced a few chapters in. It was something a friend of mine and her siblings made up to insult each other, and one day my brother, who loves to do graphic design, created a 3d model of the creature. It is realistic enough to fit in my story, and I wanted to create some new creatures to include in my world, so it found it's way into The Royal Woodcutter.
All in all, inspiration is a good thing, as long as you don't become dependant on it. Don't use it to copy ideas, but rather fuel your own. If your ideas are good enough, who knows? Maybe someone will draw inspiration from them.