Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Writing: Being Original

A lot of people have been writing for a long time. We're a little evolved beyond just monkeys sitting at typewriters (most of us, anyway) and few of us are trying to recreate the works of someone else, let alone Shakespeare.

But it's hard being original, if not outright impossible. (As a point of fact, writing about the difficulty and/or impossibility of being original isn't original either.) The hope that every creator (whether their medium is literature, visual art, or otherwise) is to create a new perspective on an old idea.

When I first saw Avatar, the movie (not to be confused with "The Last Airbender," which I still have not seen) I didn't make a connection that I have seen in more recent viewings.

When I was younger, and even still today, I was a fan of Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin series, and, to the best of my knowledge I own all the books, novels and short stories contained in that universe. Anyone who has read further into the series, namely "Children of the Mind" and "Xenocide" should remember the life cycle of los pequenos, the "piggies."

The third (of three) steps in their life cycle is becoming a tree (literally) which joins into that planet's neural network. Sound familiar?

It's just another take on the same idea.

Card even took it a step further and actually downloaded an artificial intelligence computer program (minor spoiler alert) into that neural network, much for the same reason as the human-to-avatar downloads: the host was becoming uninhabitable.

Makes me wonder if James Cameron has ever read that series...