Let's get through the business stuff before you run off to get the first full-length book in my Hearts of Darkness series for FREE Please explore and follow my fantastic new WEBSITE then read this BLOG today and tell me what you think in the comments below. After you read Defeat the Darkness and love it, (big hugs everyone) please don't forget to leave a review somewhere. GRIN
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What rules drive the genre of fantasy and paranormal world building? What can an author write without breaking some other author's rules. Who first imagined the vampire? How many different undead rules do we have to follow or can we change them? who developed the idea of demons? Succubi?
Before there was Disney there were the Grimm and before there were books to record the stories there were bards and story tellers before them. So who makes world building rules? And if there are rules how does that affect the future of story telling? What happens when boundaries are placed around imagination? What happens to vision when blinders are placed over the visionary's eyes? How do ideas grow in a prison of ideas?
So for me, the only rules are the capability of my imagination or the ones the reader places on the author. I ask myself, what is the reader willing to accept and what is going too far. But when I use basic ideas from previous world building (since there's really nothing new or unique) how close do the readers expect me to stay to the "rules"?
Rules for art offend me. "Use complete sentences. Don't use too many exclamations points. Don't make the tree trunks green--they should be brown. Picasso, a woman's breast is not over her face?" I know nothing of music, but I'm sure there have been rule breakers who've moved the world of music forward. Because without rule breakers there would be no change. And without change we couldn't move ... I was going to say forward, but technically, we couldn't move at all. We'd be stuck in one place.
So when readers insinuate all vampires stories must live by the rules established by Bram Stoker I say ... no. We've come a long way with a variety of vampire rules and as the stories grow so do the numbers of changes. And shifters who were once only werewolves, now could be bears or flies, for that matter. (Though I'm a traditionalist and veer away from insect stories ... not that there's anything wrong with them.) Like I inferred -- To each his own.
What do you think? If Karen Marie Moning makes up a word for a sex slave, can no other author use it? Or Kresley Cole's demon series? What about JR Ward's, Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire rules and words? I'm sure Christine Feehan has used ideas from other authors who write paranormal characters but she also has some concepts that are purely her own ... or are they? Then there are action words like "tracing" and "shifting" and "sifting" as well as emotional words implicating relationships such as "life mate" and "soul mate" and "binding" or "bound" can have similar meanings from one author's series to another's. It's okay. Our work grows on the shoulders of others, then we take on the weight of others as they climb upon ours. Readers should not take exception because if you read far enough back in history, I'm sure you'll see similarities to much of what you read today.
I just ran across a book with practically the exact same cover as mine, (imitation is the best form of flattery) the same cover model (which isn't unusual) right down to the addition of a small medallion. I did my own cover art to prevent this, but I guess there's never a way to completely avoid it.
Now if you've read this far, here are your reminders (LOL) ... please leave me a comment ... AND don't forget to get your #FREE copy of Defeat the Darkness. CLICK Wait ... wait, remember, don't forget to visit and follow me on my website. Stay tuned. I'm sure I'll have something new this afternoon. There's always my Author Page on Facebook if you begin to miss me. I have several works in progress, a little something for everyone. Have a great week!!!!! (Too many !!!? Who cares?)