On Pesky Childhood Influences: Are Your Ideas Really Yours?

Have you ever had a moment where you realised that an idea you had—one you thought was brilliant and original and entirely yours—turns out to be someone else’s? And I don’t just mean someone beat you to it. I mean you actually got the idea from another person, then forgot about it?

In a story I’m writing I have been planning a pivotal scene: one where two characters finally kiss. I’ve had an idea for a romantic setting for a long time and I thought this might be the opportunity to use it. Continue reading

Talking Trees… and Other Sentient Vegetation

I have a friend who cannot stand talking trees in fiction.

Talking animals are fine, and she’s happy to accept a whole range of other incongruous fantasy logic (for example, werewolves that turn back into humans and still have their clothes on). But trees that talk, or walk, or are in any way sentient? She finds them stupid. And a bit creepy.  Continue reading