Saturday, December 10, 2011

So Many Stories?

Not sure who said it first, but, in reality, there are no new stories.  Only new ways of telling them.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out..
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings over sixty years ago.  Here is Ian McKellen portraying the wise old wizard character, Gandolf.
Notice his striking resemblance to Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter stories?
 And Obi Wan Kenobi of Star Wars fame?
J.K. Rowling and George Lucus weren’t copying anyone.  You can go all the way back thousands of years and find the same wise old character mentoring Jason, Aeneas, and Achilles in Greek Mythology.
Why?  Because, there are no original stories.  Only new ways of telling them.  Why are there no original stories?  (Psst, I love ‘why!’)  Because human beings have certain needs and great stories help fill those needs.  A boy needs a wise man to help him along the path to manhood, to help him discover his strengths, and to become confident in using them.  A boy’s natural instinct is to get into conflicts with his father, like a blade sharpening itself against a stone.  But, a *grandfather* fits the bill.  Sadly, not many boys have a grandfather, or a good grandfather, around to fill this need.  And so we have the wise old mentor character.
If you’re a storyteller wannabe of any kind, check out anything by Joseph Campbell, the dude who wrote extensively on the Monomyth.  George Lucus learned a ton from him and you can really see it in the Star Wars saga.  The Monomyth  is a good place to start.
As for me, I know the heroine from my Ophelia Dawson Chronicles is not the first girl to kick blood-sucking dead guys where it hurts most.
And I know she’s not the first to kiss a vampire either.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
But, she is the first to addict one to Nintendo DS.


J.A. Campbell said...

LOL, addicted to the DS huh? That's pretty good.


Kimber An said...

Yeah, it's a metallic pink Nintendo DS covered with puppy stickers. Coincidentally, my daughter has one just like it.