As well as writing about books that have inspired me, I am also going to write about various characters that I like. For this, I am not going to limit my choices to the world of literature and some of the characters may come from other sources of entertainment. Some characters I may combine into a single post due to their similar nature or role.
I will start with my obligatory Lord of the Rings reference before moving on:
Legolas and Gimli: As individual characters, Legolas and Gimli have their fans. But together, they form a duo that has stood the test of time in multiple formats. One of the classic examples of rivals (or in this case, members of races that are supposed to hate each other) teaming up to form a bond of brotherhood. This is represented well in both the films and the books, although seeing the magic of them trying to outdo each other during the battles at Helm’s Deep and Pelennor Fields is incredible.
Finding out the ultimate fates of the characters as well, which you can find out by reading the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, is a brilliant representation of their brotherhood.
Ellen Ripley / Samus Aran: I have combined these characters for this post as Metroid was heavily inspired by Alien as a whole. In particular, Samus being inspired by Ripley. Ripley is considered to be one of the best characters in the history of film and Samus is often considered to be one of the best characters in the history of video games. Ripley was a subversion of the typical sci-fi fanservice character, presented as a realistic person and making a brilliant progressive journey to being the badass warrior who takes out the xenomorph (aka the ultimate killing machine). Samus, on the other hand, arrives in the first game already as the badass warrior. But both do a brilliant job of subverting the fanservice role. Arguably, this has changed with Samus over time, due to the introduction of the Zero Suit and the whole Other M storyline. But this doesn’t change the impact that Samus originally had on the world of video games. In the end though, Samus probably wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for Ripley in the first place.
I will start this series of posts with a book I have already spoken about, but I shall be brief with it before I move onto other books.
The Lord of the Rings – Previously, I spoke about how the world that JRR Tolkien created inspired me to want to create one of my own. But the inspiration from Middle Earth goes much further than that. The Lord of the Rings itself is the quintessential fantasy story, either creating or perfectly exemplifying many of the tropes that are renowned in the genre today. Whilst many stories today take it upon themselves to subvert or defy these tropes, they would not strive to do this had it not been for the existence of the trope in the first place. The Lord of the Rings is arguably the ultimate tale of good standing up against evil.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – A very different book, but no less inspirational. This is a tale with realistic characters that you really care about. Curious Incident is well-known for its portrayal of a first person story from the POV of a protagonist who is believed to be on the Autistic Spectrum. Many believe Christopher to have Asperger Syndrome, but the author himself has gone on record saying that this wasn’t the intention when he was writing and he is by no means an expert on the subject. Regardless, Mark Haddon created a wonderful tale with an engaging protagonist that is filled with both humour and pain. I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read it, but I would highly recommend it.
Last time, I spoke about how inspiration comes from many sources. As part of this, I am going to write multiple series of posts focusing on different aspects of inspiration. For example, there will be one series of posts about some books that have inspired me and one series of posts about some of my favourite characters, whatever they are originally from.
During each post, I will focus on not just what I like, but also how the topic in question has inspired me. The first post will be coming soon.
In my earlier post about inspiration – which you can read if you click here – I mentioned a couple of false starts. During my recent work, I was backing up some files when I found some old files from an old laptop. Delving further inside this digital folder, I discovered some old ideas and work of mine. Some of it, I won’t discuss as the ideas are still alive in one form or another in my current work. However, I did want to mention a couple of the ‘false starts’ that I happened to find.
I spent a lot of time coming up with ideas to write about and a couple of them developed further. One of them developed so much to the point where I had started writing it as a novel. It was only after writing the first few chapters that I realised something that caused me to stop. I was conducting some research for my novel when I saw a trailer for a newly released film. I watched the film and realised that the story was practically identical to the one I was writing. Objectively speaking, at least. At the time, I thought the film was probably better than the story I was writing despite being very similar, so I abandoned the concept. Hindsight is 20-20, but I am glad I made that decision. I was right. Perhaps I was never that passionate about the project in the first place, but I personally feel that it was just another step in the road leading me to the creation of Orbis and my current projects. Which I am very passionate about.
Inspiration is a funny thing to talk about as you could spend more time talking or writing about what inspires you than actually doing the thing you were inspired to do. It can come from anything or anyone. It can happen at any time or place. It can be a positive experience or it can be a negative experience.
I could spend a lot of time talking about the people who have inspired me in life. Whether it’s my beautiful fiancé, my wonderful friends and family or some of the people I have worked with – I also work as a teacher; I have met some truly inspirational people of all ages – there is plenty of inspiration to go around.
Instead, I’m going to talk about a source of creative inspiration. Two things that greatly affected the creative path I have chosen in life; both of which I experienced as a preteen. First of all, of no surprise what-so-ever to fantasy authors and writers who love world-building, was the Lord of the Rings. One of my all-time favourite stories, but what really fascinated me was the appendices. Tolkien didn’t just write a story, he created a world. And I wanted to do the same. This was soon followed by my second source of creative inspiration, Dragonball Z. When Trunks travelled back in time from an alternate timeline and changed the past, my preteen self was introduced to multiverse theory and my mind was blown. The idea of parallel worlds, alternate timelines and alternate dimensions combined with my desire to create a world and took my ideas to the next level. I didn’t just want to create a single world; I wanted to create more. And so the seed was set. Over the next few years, my ideas developed and so did my overall plan. A couple of false starts and creative setbacks only served to benefit me, as they led me to the creation of ‘Nomadic Guardian’.
Inspiration can indeed come from anything or anyone. When it happens, let it spark your creativity. It can lead to wonderful things.