Thursday, October 18, 2012

# 9 Imitation

So --- I get this critique of 'Blue.' The person writes that it is a good example of the Cinderella fairy tale. I'm stumped. It's not that at all. But as I read his comments, I realize what he's saying - that it imitates some of the 'pieces' of the fairy tale. 

One of the things I've made a point not to do is read tales that are anything at all like what I'm writing at the moment. This goes against the advise of 'those' experts we're always told about. In looking at things like this, I fear that I will take some part of another's story and use it, subconsciously. I don't want that to happen. What's the fun of writing something if you're mirroring someone else's story? Where is the joy of sub-creation? 

Sometimes I wonder if this fear is because I lack confidence in my own writing. It could be. I've started to read other peoples' works and have discovered that reading their stuff does help me. First, not very humbly, I see my story with renewed joy. I find that my story seems better to me. (I told you - not very humble at the moment). And yet, I wonder if this is a necessary part of being a writer. To be secure in my own writing ability. To see what I wrote as good. To feel confident in my writing style, my characters, and my plot. I like to think so.

Now - to get back to imitation. I discovered that some teachers promote the theory that having children read and then imitate the masters makes them better writers. Gives them a basis, a foundation, to build upon. It sounds like a pretty valid theory to me. Here's some websites of proponents of this teaching method.
http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/search/node/imitation
http://www.exodusbooks.com/category.aspx?id=5359
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/literary-parodies-exploring-writer-839.html

To get back to 'Blue' - for all things must return to the reason for researching such things - I was watching a Doctor Who Christmas special tonight. I know, it's October, but that's when the station showed this repeat of the Charles Dickens' 'Christmas Carol.' I suppose if it's good enough for Doctor Who, it should be good enough for me. 

I will accept the critiquer's thoughts that 'Blue' is a remake of Cinderella. But I will accept it with pride, adhering to the adage: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I am now flattered by such an insinuation. However... I'll be VERY careful to keep 'Blue' my own; I'll make sure it doesn't not copy Cinderella (or any other fairy tale for that matter); and I'll be pleased as punch that 'Blue' reminds someone of a great and enduring fairy tale. May 'Blue' turn out to be the same - great and enduring.

Life is pleasant.

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