Some projects, whether short or novel length, are more problematic than others. One short story of mine has excelled at causing me trouble (read more about it here), and I thought I’d share something else about the feedback I’ve received on it.
It reminds some readers of the movie Blade Runner. And they always feel the need to tell me this – usually as a warning.
The story was in no way inspired by that movie, so I have had to give some thought to why they make the association. My conclusions so far are that there are a handful of elements in the story which combine to produce a Blade Runner-ish flavour, BUT only for people whose minds have a tendency to draw comparisons.
On the latter point, you can always pick these people because they will almost always say “it reminds me of” or “have you seen this movie / read this book” when giving a critique.
The triggers for the strong comparison between my story and the movie seem to be that it’s raining through most of the story, and my protagonist hunts people who aren’t quite human.
That it’s raining because of a storm which is crucial to the plot, that she’s a she, and that she kills children for a living aren’t sufficient to break the association. Which is really interesting, I think, and goes back to what I talked about in a previous post.
Obviously I’m not going to re-write the story to avoid the comparison – the elements are all there for a reason – but if they’d said it reminded them of Avatar or something equally recent it would certainly have given me cause for thought.
The fact that famous stories (especially movies in this genre) seem to hang over what we do for decades after their release is easily demonstrated by using the word “Empire”, someone with funny grammar, or any kind of mysticism in a sci-fi story. No matter how un-like Star Wars your story is, it’s guaranteed to be mentioned!