DNA and Origin of Stories

I’ve been listening to a pretty cool podcast lately. It’s the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast and they do interviews with authors and editors and then a serialized version of one of the Audible versions of their audio books. I am listening to an older one since I wanted to start at the beginning, which is the Larry Correia book Hard Magic, which is book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles. It’s narrated by Bronson Pinchot and it is pretty good.

Anyway, the interview I just heard was part one of an interview with David Weber and Eric Flint (it’s from 4/18/2014 in case you are interested and it is pretty cool). One of the things that they were talking about was how things tend to change. Weber was talking about some developments in the Honorverse (as his world is called in case you aren’t familiar with it, based on his early works, Honor Harrington, I read it in high school, it’s pretty good). He was talking about how he starts a lot of what he writes on history, since that is his training. But he doesn’t keep it there. One of the things I really liked is that that (and I am paraphrasing here) is that it starts with that DNA but then it kind of mutates.

For instance, he was talking in particular about how some of his Honorverse is based on Revolutionary France, but then he doesn’t take it where people are expecting and quite intentionally, which sometimes drives fans nuts. Another example was a certain planet and culture is based on the Royal Navy, and people get bent out of shape when things diverge from that, but then he points out that there have to be obvious difference, such as illiterate yeoman can’t exist on a starship, you can’t keelhaul, etc.

Anyway, I had a point at the beginning which I have pretty much forgotten, but I liked the idea of the DNA of an inspiration mutating once you start to write. It is how, as a writer, I can take something or someone from the real world, and put them in a story, but once it comes down to it, they are completely unrecognizable as their real world doppelganger – and it’s not due to me necessarily doing anything on purpose, it’s just kind of how it evolves. It is that beautiful alchemy of creation that I love in writing so much.

Also, I love podcasts about writing since I don’t really have time for an actual writer’s group right now, it is like being a quiet member of a writer’s group with some pretty amazing writers.

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