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Writing Eragon?


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[size=1] Wow! I just finished the book "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini yesterday! It was an awesome book! If you haven't read it, you should if you liked Lord of the Rings! Anyway, what did you all think of it (if you've read it that is)? The story kind of sounds like an RPG someone might come up with...hm... [/size]
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Guest Bloodsin
I think this would go [URL=http://www.otakuboards.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=57][u]HERE[/u][/URL]
I think I've read that before, but I can't remember much about it.
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YES! me me ! pick ME! I've read Eragon. Very good book, incredible storyline characters etc. The best part was how believable the world is (Aside from the fact it's fiction) To bad the story teller died though.

The writer, Christopher Paollini lives in the area to! THAT was the wild part about the book for me.
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I read Eragon fairly recently, and it was less than impressive. After all the hype, I was expecting some amazing work of literature, one that would revolutionize the world of fantasy.

What did I find? Yet ANOTHER cliched Tolkien/Star Wars rip-off. The writing was decent, but I honestly think that the only reason this book got so much attention was because of its author's age.

I thought that the characters were fairly one-dimensional, and although I liked its plot well enough, it simply didn't strike me as being very credible. Eragon is supposed to be fifteen, for heaven's sake. All of his incredible swordsmanship and various glorious feats would have been far more believeable if he were at least nineteen or twenty.

Can't any fantasy writers talk about something other than evil empires, beautiful elves, and axe-wielding dwarves? Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn't make it particularly exciting or enjoyable to read.

Okay, I'm being rather harsh. Eragon is a decent book, and Christopher Paolini is certainly a promising writer, but I expected it to be a whole lot more than just decent.

~Dagger~
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[size=1] Althought I haven't read the book, I'd say it looks pretty good. If this is Christopher's first book, then I will say 'congradulations' to him [thinks of cheesy Evangelion scene where everybody said 'Congradulations' and shudders] because it's been pretty popular. I mean...the points that people make of Eragon being unoriginal with having a good plot reminds me of the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling isn't exactly the greatest writer I've even seen *coughs* but she has an excellent storyline.

Sometimes it's easier for beginning writers to use characters such as dwarfs, elves, etc. because these characters already have a certain background and footing. It's not as easy for people to create their own race and make up everything and out of nothing but imagination make their own footing or a certain species. Perhaps the author will get better at the problem that occured in 'Eragon', but if he doesn't, then I'd have to agree with Dagger. But all in all, I don't think beginning authors are trying to actually imitate other writers such as JRR Tolkien, but trying to start out simple and then go into the hard stuff when they've gained more experience. But I guess starting off with a bang would help.

And to talk about Eragon's age....Hm. I'll use an example of other books here. I've read the Orson Scott Card series, and among them, 'Ender's Game' and 'Ender's Shadow' was the more popular ones amongst teenagers. Why? Even thought Ender and Bean [the main characters] were young, they had the mentality that was and surpassed teenager's minds. The characters were the audiences' ages, and they could relate to them more easily. Orson's other books revolve around characters that range in the 30-40s age, so they're not so popular. Get my point? Most people you read Eragon are around 12-15, so if the author made Eragon 19 or 20, it would be harder for people to grasp his thinking and mentality. If the characters were to run deeper and more realistic, some readers would probably put the book down and leave it alone until they were older, and then they'd probably put the book down because they've read other spectacular books...*shrugs* I guess that's the author's reasoning.

I have no other points to discuss, I have a feeling I shouldn't have written this post in the first place because I haven't even read the book.[/size]
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  • 2 years later...
[QUOTE=Dagger]I read Eragon fairly recently, and it was less than impressive. After all the hype, I was expecting some amazing work of literature, one that would revolutionize the world of fantasy.

What did I find? Yet ANOTHER cliched Tolkien/Star Wars rip-off. The writing was decent, but I honestly think that the only reason this book got so much attention was because of its author's age.

I thought that the characters were fairly one-dimensional, and although I liked its plot well enough, it simply didn't strike me as being very credible. Eragon is supposed to be fifteen, for heaven's sake. All of his incredible swordsmanship and various glorious feats would have been far more believeable if he were at least nineteen or twenty.

Can't any fantasy writers talk about something other than evil empires, beautiful elves, and axe-wielding dwarves? Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but that doesn't make it particularly exciting or enjoyable to read.

Okay, I'm being rather harsh. Eragon is a decent book, and Christopher Paolini is certainly a promising writer, but I expected it to be a whole lot more than just decent.

~Dagger~[/QUOTE]

Not to contradict you or anything but later in the series, in Eldest, at the end you find out information about Eragon's past which makes his accomplishments and swordsmanship a little more believable. But i will agree that on average most fantasy writers do talk about evil empires beautiful elves and warrior dwarfs but he did do something that i had never seen before. He made a new viewing on magic, AND created new languages for a book series. Though Eragon dose make more sense after reading Eldest, and despite the typical things of a fantasy book, because of the other things that he did and others didn?t I found it to be an excellent book and series. But then again this is just my opinion.
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I've read both books and I will still read the third, but overall the series just rips too much from other books. Anne McCaffrey actually complimented the series, but I found it just copied too much from other series. He calls the people in his book Dragon Riders for goodness' sake. The whole thing about [SPOILER]Morzan being his father[/SPOILER] has just lost impact since Star Wars.

I can see a teenager having more mature thoughts, but I do not like the fact that he mastered the sword within just a few months of training. So, I agree with pretty much everything Dagger said. I find Eragon to be annoying as a character. Why do all the popular books nowadays seem to be about some teen who has to sacrifice everything to defeat the evil warlord/dictator/crazy person?
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[quote name='Wolf2gto']He made a new viewing on magic, AND created new languages for a book series.[/quote]
[size=1]Wrong. He stole the entire thing about a magical language from [B]Earthsea[/B] by [B]Ursula K. Le Guin[/B]. The kid's a professional thief.

Honestly, the ENTIRE thing is a rip of Star Wars, but instead it's fantasy rather than sci-fi. Young boy grows up on a (moisture) [i]farm[/i], [spoiler]family dies due to Empire attack, boy flys off with old man, old man just happens to be a master of ____, who imparts upon him knowledge before he sacrifices himself for the boy, etc, etc, etc.[/spoiler]

And inventing a new language really isn't all that big a deal. Anyone can throw together some strange letters and call them a new language.[/size]
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[size=1][color=#b0000b][quote name='silver_blade']He calls the people in his book Dragon Riders for goodness' sake.[/quote]Well, they do...ride...[i]dragons[/i]. :p

I wasn't really impressed with this book. It entertained me while I was reading it, but, well... It seemed like a fantasy book written by, well... a kid. A patchwork of "well, I know this can happen in a story, because I've seen it before... and I know this can happen, so I'll add that..."

In defense of the guy, it isn't necessarily that he ripped off LeGuin. The idea of your "true name" granting power over you is an old one, and a "true language" is a natural extension with that (and honestly something I've toyed with in the past, having not yet read any of the EarthSea books.) But that being said, I don't know how close the usage of the language is to EarthSea. But yeah, it's not a completely new idea. (My main contact with a magical "true language" was in the [i]So You Want To Be A Wizard[/i] series, incidently.)

The language itself honestly isn't impressive. I know conlangers who devote months and years to their languages, and I don't know what effort Paolini put into his, but if I needed a quick fix for a mystical language, I probably would have come up with the same things. His language is extremely Germanic, and nearly all of the phrases in [i]Eragon[/i] look like stuff I've translated in one of my historical German classes.[quote name='Sara][size=1]The magic "ancient language" in Eragon is pretty darn Germanic, too. "[i]Gath un reisa du rakr![/i]" and "[i]Du grind huildr![/i]" both look like things I might have had to translate in my History of the German Language class last semester. (Some meanings are right on, too. Eragon's [i]gata[/i] means "path." In Swedish, it means "street." [i]Welden[/i] (forest) is very close to German's [i]Wald[/i]. [i]Theirra[/i] means "their," which isn't quite as much of a giveaway as [i]knifr[/i] meaning "knife." [i]Eka[/i] means "I," which looks bizarre unless you're familiar with Old German's many baffling versions of "Ich." [i]Stenr[/i] is "stone," [i]wyrda[/i'] is "fate," and I think you get the picture.) A couple other words almost scream "ICELANDIC!" at me.[/size][/quote][/color][/size]
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[QUOTE=Sara][size=1][color=#b0000b]Well, they do...ride...[i]dragons[/i]. :p
[/color][/size][/QUOTE]

I forgot to say why I hate him calling his people "Dragon Riders." It is because Anne McCaffrey has had her [I]Dragonriders of Pern[/I] series out for a few decades and to call them Dragon Riders is a blatant rip off, even though he usually refers to them only as Riders. He could at least have called them Dragon Knights or something of that sort. But most of his stuff is just a rip off of other, better books anyway. And yet he is still on the best sellers list...
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[quote name='Sara][size=1][color=#b0000b]In defense of the guy, it isn't necessarily that he ripped off LeGuin. The idea of your "true name" granting power over you is an old one, and a "true language" is a natural extension with that (and honestly something I've toyed with in the past, having not yet read any of the EarthSea books.) But that being said, I don't know how close the usage of the language is to EarthSea. But yeah, it's not a completely new idea. (My main contact with a magical "true language" was in the [i]So You Want To Be A Wizard[/i] series, incidently.)[/color'][/size][/quote]
[size=1]It's not the idea of a "true name," it's the idea of an ancient language that has command over magic (and you can't lie in, I believe) is straight from the mouth of Le Guin. Sure, the idea might be nothing new, but my point is that no matter [i]where[/i] he got it from, he stole it like all the other elements of his book.

Honestly, the kid has only a certain degree of skill. How much does it take to copy a movie into a book and make it in a different time?[/size]
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Heh. It was funny to see this thread again, because as much as I criticized the first book, I thought that [b]Eldest[/b] made it seem like a work of genius in comparison. The second book really descended into awful fanfic territory, as far as I'm concerned; Eragon could not [i]possibly[/i] have become more of a Gary Stu. It was worth reading just for the laughs, really. I'm actually looking forward to the last part of the trilogy now... my sister and I will have fun MST3King it.

[spoiler]The fact that Eragon underwent a physical transformation to acquire elf-like beauty[/spoiler] was what really killed me.

~Dagger~
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[quote name='silver_blade]I forgot to say why I hate him calling his people "Dragon Riders." It is because Anne McCaffrey has had her [I]Dragonriders of Pern[/I'] series out for a few decades[/quote][color=#b0000b][size=1]Oh no, I'm definitely aware of that. My point was just that, of all the "rip-offs" to criticise, the use of very functional term doesn't seem that important. :)
[quote name='Retribution][size=1]It's not the idea of a "true name," it's the idea of an ancient language that has command over magic (and you can't lie in, I believe) is straight from the mouth of Le Guin. Sure, the idea might be nothing new, but my point is that no matter [i]where[/i'] he got it from, he stole it like all the other elements of his book.[/size][/quote]Yeah, again, I'm aware. And trust me, I'm not a fan of the book or the author. Just tossing stuff out there, I don't know.[/color][/size]
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[COLOR=#35425E][SIZE=1][quote name='Sara][size=1][color=#b0000b]His language is extremely Germanic, and nearly all of the phrases in [i]Eragon[/i] look like stuff I've translated in one of my historical German classes.[/color'][/size][/quote]Signed. Ellesmera, Beor, Silthrim, Eldor: sounds like Quenya/Sindarin to me. Even the slew of oddly-placed z's ring of Black Speech. [i]Azh nazg durbatul√Ľk[/i], One Ring, Germanic Middle Earth, etc.

I liked the book. It has a really nice, textured cover and the art's not shabby either ([i]"Judge not a book by its cover"[/i]... psssh). I was amused at the done-to-death archetypes and the numerous allusions he made to better-known works in the fantasy genre. Just like the chick flicks I love, it doesn't offer anything new, but it's highly entertaining.[/SIZE][/COLOR]
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[quote name='Delta][COLOR=#35425E][SIZE=1]Just like the chick flicks I love, it doesn't offer anything new, but it's highly entertaining.[/SIZE'][/COLOR][/quote][color=#b0000b][size=1]That's a pretty good way to put it, actually. You knew what was going to entertaining, but it was entertaining (if somewhat frustrating), anyway.[/color][/size]
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