No single piece of work is truly original. Anything that aspires to stand out on its own does so by borrowing familiar elements from other works, and it is only through the sum of these familiar elements that something unfamiliar can be created. Tropes are tools, after all.
For a writer just starting out, it can be really frustrating to be working on something, only to realize that it’s a rip-off to Code Geass, or that he or she is just trying to write another Rei Ayanami character instead of the next Rei Ayanami character. Sudden realization of uncreativity is a huge hindrance to the development of creativity itself, but it does not necessarily have to be as such.
If anything, there’s some degree of validity in trying to aim for these new and novel concepts. Instead of putting down ourselves for being unoriginal, why not embrace it? Instead of trying to avoid the classic archetypes, why not pay homage to them? This is what Remembering Love is about, and it does not only enhance the enjoyment of those who take in media, but also those who try to create as well.
NaNoWriMo is only a week away, and the planning process for many who wish to participate is already in full swing. With not a lot of time remaining, the opportunities to fully prepare for the event itself are few. There are limits to the brain, and for something as monumental as writing 50,000 words in at least a half-coherent manner, the rest of the effort here comes down to heart. The fondness for stories past is what will drive writers to create stories for the future. If you still want to join NaNoWriMo, then there’s no better time to decide than now. Your enthusiasm will carry you in more ways a muse ever could.
Write What You Love
Without love and passion, there is nothing. Why bother writing something, fanfiction or otherwise, if you don’t even enjoy the subject matter the subject matter that you are referencing? It is only through enthusiasm that one can attempt to see beyond the concepts presented in previous works. It is only through curiosity that one can dare to ask questions that no one else would dare to answer. It is only through love that one can foster and nourish knowledge for those concepts, creating something that truly reflects one’s love for things.
As a group of people who share in common a love for anime, there’s no better resource to find out what we truly love than myanimelist, or similarly, any other anime database. Sort the list out by the rating that you gave it, and go through all of the 10’s, 9’s, and 8’s on that list. For each title, think of one or two things that you absolutely loved about it. Do it again, but this time only go through your 10’s and 9’s, and think of more things that you loved about those shows in particular. Lastly, do it again, but only with your 10’s, and try to think of the things that made these titles stand out among the rest. These are the things that you love watching and/or reading about, and most likely, they’ll be the things you’ll love to write about.
When November comes around, look at that list again, and the things you love about those shows will come out at you instantly. Those things will always be there. Those things have always been there. So why not write about them?
The best and most individualistic works are the kinds that clearly come from something else, but put a whole new spin on the subject matter altogether. It sounds like a highly thought-out process, but really, it’s just a result of bringing out one’s own individuality through the work they make. Each person loves different things and in different ways.
If you really love something, you don’t just let it go. You make it your own.
Remember Remember, the Month of November
For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ll be putting my Edo period Steampunk series aside, and writing something a bit more magical. I am going to write about a magical girl, and I’m going to do it in a futuristic setting. I still stand by my review of Madoka Magica. I didn’t think it was perfect, or even as good as most people thought it to be, but there were things that I just loved about it, and it put a new spin on a genre that I’ve only come to acknowledge as something that I truly love. Magical Girls are my in-thing, almost just as much as my love for steampunk literature, and it feels like an intruiging challenge for me to try to take something that is mostly depicted through manga and animation and put it into words.
Sailor Moon meets Ghost in the Shell. Pretty Cure meets Serial Experiments Lain. Madoka Magica Meets Steins;Gate. This is the seed that I will take with me into November, and in spite of my lack of preparation, I can only hope that my love will be enough to make it grow into something special.
Will you be doing NaNoWriMo? Will you be doing something that you love? Even if not, let me know!