By the ever opinionated E.C. Stacy
I hate Hate HATE hearing those apathetic words. Out of all the misconceptions that a writer will encounter, this one, I think, is the most damaging. And to fully illustrate how horrible this phrase is, I’ll begin by giving you this picture: what if a teacher said that to an artistic student?
As my cartoon segued, in 1980, a film about an archaeologist racing against Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant hit the theaters to become a smash hit and beloved classic. Yes, George Lucas based Indy on the rugged heroes from 1930s matinee serials, but no one had ever used an artifact hunter and a religious treasure. It had NOT been done. Maybe that’s one of the reasons it was so successful…and copied.
Need something more recent? How about a wrongfully imprisoned journalist and a young tattooed and pierced detective with an attitude committed to finding the truth? Lisbeth Salander was a new kind of character, perfect for our growing counterculture in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
True, common elements can be found between two masterpieces. Stories rely on formulas to heighten tension and pique our interest. But saying it’s all been done is like giving up on humanity. And one cannot be in the arts or even associated with it and surrender the creative frontier.