But, and this is my but, given so much information available in the world, can ideas actually be considered original anymore? I deal with this problem everyday in my writing. For NaNoWriMo, for instance, I had to disavow myself from writing a science-fiction or fantasy story, because I don't know where to draw the line from influence to plagiarism. How much influence from one author or ten constitutes rewritten material, or how little influence means its original work? So I settled on an historical fiction. Why? Because I don't read a lot of historical fiction. Most of what I do read is tied into fantasy anyways, with John Turtledove. So I have an outline for my NaNoWriMo novel, but still I ask myself, is this totally original?? How much of this can I trace back to this book I read or that book I read, and where is that line? At least I'm hopeful its a bit further back than if I attempted to write a fantasy novel. And that doesn't even go into the realm of how magnificent the story is. Can I ever live up to the greats? Probably not, and part of me doesn't want to try. I've seen some who have tried and failed. I've seen some of them on the New York Times Bestseller list. Take the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. It has been critically acclaimed by many, and is definately a bestseller. but as I read through Eragon, I had to seriously question where that line was of the influence of Tolkien, and the rewriting of some of it. The story itself is more or less original, but the surrounding world around it is so much like a page out of Middle Earth. Some of the details, like the daughter of a noble king masking herself as a male to fight in a battle, and a magical king (insert Sauron) who rules ruthlessly over the land. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story very much, but I would not have been comfortable adding all those influences directly into the story. This month will be a struggle no doubt, enhancing my outline and enriching the details of the story, getting ready for November 1st. And that struggle will be to keep it as original as possible, a struggle which I am sure I make ten times more difficult because of my paranoia about plagiarism. But can it be that this toughening up on plagiarism, these constant bickerings in classrooms and some of the ridiculous things professors and teachers have to enforce to prevent plagiarism, lead to this paranoia? Why is it that I don't feel like I've written any totally original idea in my life? Apparently I have, or so my professors say. But I've never felt like that at all.
In other news, my sister finally broke up with the asshole. He went to Michigan last month for a wedding, and he brought back with him a female friend and her baby. Now, he swears there has never been anything between him and this woman, and even if there isn't, there are so many problems lying in wait for this relationship. My sister has always referred to him as asshole, or dickhead, and she's come home crying at times about his insensitivity and his apparent lack of regard for her. She's been in a pissy mood since he came home on Wednesday or Thursday with this woman, and she was not happy when she found out the news that a strange woman would be living with her boyfriend for a month. And then tonight, he tells her he might just move back to Michigan. So she broke it off. He's coming by tomorrow night *and spending then night* to drop off her things and I can only guess, have one last go around before she takes up temporary celebacy.