11 Strongest Influences On “The Songless”

The following will probably be boring.

Feel warned.

“Why are you telling us this, Kate?” you ask wearily.

Um. So you don’t charge at me with a pitchfork in the comments section? I just have a creeping feeling that this is not going to be my most riveting post, okay?

But I still want to write it, because… because this is my blog and I do what I want!

And also because… I’m a horrible author who actually enjoys giving things away and, I don’t know… perhaps some of my diehard fans will enjoy all the trivia about my firstborn child?

Oh, hush, I know I have diehard fans out there somewhere!

Maybe.

Ahem! Onwards!

I shall now proceed to list a tidy list of shows or movies or songs or other books that have contributed something to The Songless. And there will be lovely pictures. So maybe stick around for that, if nothing else?

 

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1. Prince Caspian: Runaway

I was just a kid when I began, so you must forgive me for my blatant plagiarism.

The SonglessΒ was essentially a genderswapped Prince Caspian when I first wrote it. Character names, for example, were Telmar-esque and Endelyn had a father who was similar to King Miraz in both appearance and attempting-to-kill-a-close-relative.

I am happy to say that The Songless does not resemble Prince Caspian in the slightest now! I do love the story of Caspian, though… It could use a few more retellings, methinks.

 

2. Wormwood: Fallen Angels

Wormwood is an extremely obscure book, so I don’t expect you to have read it. But it is also one of my favorites and shaped The Songless in some important ways.

One of the main characters is Tegatus, an angel who “fell in love with the wrong woman” and whose fate seems to be in a kind of limbo. Another angel, Abram, tells someone that he is a fallen angel – but what fascinates me is that Abram still actively works for the good side.

The Songless, and all of my other stories, center around a race of beings called Kwanza. Like angels, they are immortal and have certain superhuman abilities like healing or foresight or telepathy. Unlike angels, they live on earth in order to protect humanity and can both rebel against their Maker and be redeemed after doing so.

Like in Wormwood, even after having “fallen,” the Kwanza can still choose to serve their Creator.

 

Image result for toothless

3. How To Train Your Dragon: Joka

Some of you know that, in its infancy, The Songless‘ basic plot was: Gril runs away from home. Girl gets stuck in trap. Dragon-riding dude saves her. They are both thrown in prison.

Anybody want to venture a guess as to where the dragon-riding dude came from?

Not that Makovu was much like Hiccup. On the contrary, Makovu was an adult man, tall and strong and mysterious and not much of a conversationalist.

The dragon, on the other hand…

I’m positive that my first description of it sounded something like this… “There was a small catlike dragon with wide adorable eyes like saucers. He was black, but had livid spots if you looked really close. He was playful and nice once you got to know him but was kind of hostile at first.”

There is still a dragon in The Songless, which pleases me muchly. His name is Joto la Joka and he is an infant. In dragon years, that is. In human years he is about a thousand. Or so.

I’ll admit… Joka strongly resembles Toothless, even now. But I’m hoping that since Joka is so tiny he can fit into the palm of your hand, my plagiarism won’t be too apparent?

4. Oliver Twist: Honor Among Thieves

After reading Oliver Twist, a band of thieves mysteriously appeared in my story. Complete with a teenage girl, her lover, and two mischievous imps.

Could I have been any more obvious?

Ugh. My younger self was so… uncreative.

Some vestiges of this influence still remain, however! The Nomads are still, at their core, the “thieves” and I still try to convey that in the midst of their cruel and proud ways, they value honor and loyalty and have a certain code of ethics even they do not dare to break.

Image result for meg and hades image

5. Hercules: Meg’s Deal With Hades

Ooh! This is a more recent influence.

Which means I must be quite secret. So I’ll just say that, yes, one of my characters – Endelyn, to be exact – did indeed sell her soul to Hades. Who happens to be the father of the man she is in love with.

Whew! Glad I didn’t give anything away!

Image result for brave merida and elinor

6. Brave: Mother-Daughter Friendship

Aww! I remember when my story was sweet and innocent and oddly Scottish…

This was back when Endelyn had met her biological mother but her father killed her. Or perhaps Endelyn herself murdered her mother? It was never quite clear to me whodunnit, to be honest. So it’s probably for the best that this plot was cast aside…

Anywho. In this draft, Endelyn had a mother. That’s the important thing!

They were close, like sisters and did everything together. Including horseback riding. Which isn’t reminiscent at all of a certain Disney film. Not at all.

But you will be happy to know that all signs of this influence have been eradicated! Ha!

Image result for on stranger tides

7. On Stranger Tides: Mermaid And Sailor Romance

I’m not even sure she is a mermaid? I’m just guessing because of the… towel.

In case you couldn’t tell, I have not seen this movie. But soundtracks are a thing… especially at my house. Daniel is kind of obsessed. By the way, the soundtrack is the most haunting, terrifying, and utterly beautiful I have ever heard, so if you ever get a chance, listen to it.

Anyway. I saw this picture and their frightened, “caught” expressions and suddenly… The Songless had a sequel! In this sequel, Endelyn’s son, Timothy, fell in love with a mermaid and turned her human. There was no plot? Unless you count sneaking a towel-clad girl into your house a plot? Which… I don’t?

Needless to say, the sequel was scrapped.

But I am still as fascinated with mermaids as ever and will absolutely be writing about them someday.

Image result for game of thrones

8. Game of Thrones: Despairing Eyes

Just… just look at their eyes for a moment.

Isn’t it heartbreaking? Not one of them has any hope. You can tell. Just by the eyes.

And, no, I have never watched this show. But a picture like this one was inside the booklet that comes with the soundtrack – please say you know what I’m talking about – and their eyes were so… powerful.

I see greed and anger and hurt and fear and danger and evil and ambition. And hopelessness. Despair. Submission. Apathy.

This… this is exactly what Endelyn looked like as a child. What everyone looked like who lived in the Empire.

Image result for the walking dead

9. The Walking Dead: Aesthetic

My older brother watches this show.

I do not.

Just so you know.

My stomach for violence is… small.

But my big brother is a fan and I remember one day he was describing this scene… and it just came to life in my mind. He said that the group – almost like a pack of hunters – were living in a desertlike wilderness and each night would form a circle around the campfire and that one of the girls would sing.

I still have this scene in The Songless. It was too important to leave out.

The similarities to The Walking Dead are prominent and striking and not unintentional. You might say the later drafts were inspired by or based off of this show.

My characters live in the desert, living as fugitives from the insane Wale Giza and from the fact they are all on the verge of insanity themselves. They have a pledge that if anyone in their “pack” starts to… turn, they will kill them before the disease takes over their mind. One of my characters, Wimbo Nzuri, is based off of the girl who sang.

I have no idea if I’m even imagining this show right, but I like to think that The Walking Dead is a kind of aesthetic for The Songless.

10. Closer: AlcoholismΒ 

Well, whaddya know about that?

One lonely song has made its way onto this list. Which is odd, actually, because two of my other novels are inspired almost entirely by an album or an artist, so music does have an impact on my writing. I’m not a completely uncultured swine, I will have you know.

Though… you may doubt this fact because Closer by Halsey isn’t exactly the most classy selection? And I’m sorry about that. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of mainstream pop, but the sass levels in this song and the raw regret… well, I love this song.

You might consider Closer Makovu’s… anthem. This song kind of sums him up perfectly. One line leapt out at me… “I drink too much and that’s an issue, okay.”Β 

Profound, right?

Now I can hear you snickering at me because it isn’t profound at all, but it inspired me. Alcoholism doesn’t get much press, I don’t pretend to know why. But when I heard it, I just knew – drinking was Makovu’s big struggle. His demon to conquer.

11. Forbidden: Darkening

I love Ted Dekker! Most of the time, that is… He can be a brilliant genius and a total creeper, alternately, and his books are not for the faint of heart, but I got hooked at age nine and faithfully read every book he writes even now.

Forbidden is one of his more recent books, and the premise is quite fascinating… But I won’t bore you with the details. In this book, a certain group of rather intimidating people have black blood and pale skin so that you can see all the veins in their necks and arms and their eyes are all pupil, all black. It’s scary.

I may have stolen this.

All the rest of the characters are in various stages of… darkness. Some are “dead” and others “awakened.” A third group is kind of “twice-awakened.”

I may have stolen this also.

Oops?

My setting is entirely different so I don’t think Ted will mind much when he finds out?

Thus concludes my list!

Were you totally bored out of your mind? Who else loves the song Closer? If your novel was a TV show, which one would it be? Are there any Dekker fans in the audience? What are some things that have influenced your writings? Do you ever get inspired by a single song or lyric? Weren’t the picture lovely?

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29 thoughts on “11 Strongest Influences On “The Songless””

  1. Oh, my goodness, I love this post! Like, unreasonably so. I’m such a horrible plagiarist, so it’s amazing to see that someone else struggles with, er, originality … and it’s just cool how your novel changed with the books you read and movies you watched, etc.

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  2. Yes, I’m a “plagiarist” too, if I watch a movie, read a book, see whatever it gets sucked right into me and I have to put my own spin on it. Makes it hard to focus on a project. Music is the worst culprit, I will always feel the song’s emotion and nothing else when one plays.

    Reading about your story’s influence was fun and interesting, even if it absolutely wasn’t spoilery at all. *coughHadescough*

    And Eeeee!! Joka came from How to Train Your Dragon??? Cuuuute!
    I will add that its soundtrack has been a big influencer for some of my stories.

    This makes me want to write a post on my story’s influence, but it’s pretty much Harry Potter and Nancy Drew settings…

    I’ve never seen Game of Thrones either, but the eyes do seem storyful and striking. And…what is the Empire?
    The fallen angels still trying to do good sounds interesting and unusual.

    No need for pitchforks here! ;D

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    1. Ah, the struggle is real. I think my biggest issue, perhaps, is that when I’m not OBSESSED with a particular book/movie/TV show *coughSHERLOCKcough* then the need to PUT THIS GLORIOUSNESS in my book asap dies down considerably but at the time it seems quite URGENT that I have thieves or heists or pirates or CONSULTING CRIMINALS AND WHATNOT.

      No, no!!! No spoilers here! None at all!!!

      You should, though! It would be fun! I would read it!!

      Erm. Also known as The Forgotten City…???? AND YES THE EYES ARE INSPIRING.

      Really??? I feel like everyone is writing about angels these days…

      Yayyyyyy!!! My limbs shall stay intact this day!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I first watched Sherlock I started forming ideas for my own modern detective. Needless to say, I never got far with it because it was too obvious a copy. And how do people write mysteries anyway? You have described perfectly the urgency of adding the Gloriousness to our own little story stews.
        It doesn’t help if you go through withdrawal over it too. πŸ˜›

        Maybe I will write it, but first I need MORE items of inspiration for it!!!

        The Forgotten City sounds very scary then…

        Okay, then I must be out of the literary loop, because I know not what the popular stuff is. XD

        Keeping limbs is a wonderful experience. ^.^

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        1. Agh, yes! Sherlock is so inspiring! It may or may not have influenced some of my recent writing… *casual whistling*

          AGHGHGHAAAA!! DO NOT ASK ME HOW TO WRITE THOSE PECULIAR WORKS OF GENIUS FOR I KNOW NOT!!! Mysteries are HARD, man!!

          True, true… Ooooh! Maybe Wicked, the musical??? I was listening to it the other day and it reminded me SO MUCH of your story!!

          Veeeeerrrry scarryyyyy… muahahahahaha!!!

          Don’t worry – I was never IN the Literary Loop. It’s highly exclusive, I hear.

          Indeed! A rare one, also. πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The music in Sherlock is the best too.

            I need to find out how to write mysteries. Argh. Oh well, I guess it’s like literary mountain climbing, it must be done for the challenge and the view!

            I have heard about the musical, and from what I remember I can see how it has similarities to my story…so that’s fun that you thought of it!

            Eeeeeek! Run away!

            Yeah, I’m pretty much in the loop of lunacy and not much else. XD

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            1. My brother would agree with you! He is the music-obsessed one in my family. πŸ™‚

              Ha!! That’s certainly one way to think about it!! πŸ™‚

              Yes! It’s a lovely musical, quickly becoming one of my favorites!

              Haha. πŸ™‚

              That’s a good loop to be in on, though!!!!

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I AM YOUR DIEHARD FAN!!!! ASDFGHJKL!!!!

    This post was A) hilarious, and B) utterly and PAINFULLY relatable. I, too, struggle with *coughslightcough* plagiarism, so I can understand the struggle… Ugh…

    On the other hand, however, I loved reading about how all of these different things influenced your story! The Songless seems to be such a complex and deep story… AND ITS BABY STAGES ARE SO ADORABLE!!! SQUEE!!! *fangirls*

    ALSO! The Pirates of The Caribbean On Stranger Tides was NOT as good as the first three… However, it was PIRATES!!!!! so it was still amazing. That picture happens to be of a smol preacher man (the only religious soul in the midst of a pirate gang) trying to keep the young mermaid woman safe from the evil pirates who caught her and locked her in a tank to take her hostage. They forgot, however, that she needed to breathe air, and thus the preacher dude forced them to release her, gave her his shirt because #ew, and then carried her the rest of the way.

    I LOVED THIS POST!!!! EEK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AW YOU ARE SO SWEET I NEED TO KEEP YOU AS MY ENCOURAGING PET BECAUSE MY DOG IS DYING.

      Well, it has been in the works foreeeeeeeeever, so it OUGHT to be good and complex by now! *beats it over the head with a baseball bat*

      Right?? The baby stages were so nice and cheery and now I just murder everyone and have the aesthetic of fire. FEAR ME.

      Ooooooooohhhhhhh!!! That’s a shirt??? I thought it was a towel. IT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A SHIRT. For example, one usually WEARS a shirt instead of draping it casually about one’s shoulders. And shirts have sleeves, sometimes. For putting your arms in.

      Also why does she have LEGS if she is a mermaid????

      They put her in a tank of WATER???? Wouldn’t that be awfully heavy???

      Um, he carried her the rest of the way???? 1) WHY DUDE SHE HAS LEGS YOU IDIOT and 2) isn’t that a not-very-preacherly thing to do???

      Also isn’t he verrrrrry young and pretty to be a preacher???

      AND WHAT DOES AAAAAANNNNY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW (my smol pet)?????

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my word, I’m so sorry!!!!! 😦 That sounds awful…. I shall try to be your encouraging pet, however! As long as you feed me ice cream. And cookies. So basically cookie dough ice cream…

        SO THIS IS HOW YOU FORM PLOT! *whips out rusty baseball bat and starts whacking everlost ferociously*

        Fire aesthetics are cool. I highly approve. *nods* But…I had forgotten how apparently everyone dies, and I was reading your latest update just last night–falling deeply in love with the characters, mind you–AND NOW I REMEMBER THEY’RE BASICALLY ALL DEAD. *distant sobbing* THANK YOU FOR THIS FISSURE IN MY HEART.

        It really doesn’t look much like a shirt! I was convinced it was a towel as well until I played the movie through in my head, and I was like, “WAIT!!! HOLD EVERYTHING!!! …that’s a shirt.” I believe she has legs whenever she’s out of the water. When she’s in the water, she has a tail… (thus the tank) The pirates didn’t know that A) she breathed air apparently, and B) she had legs when out of the water….

        Okay, so the preacher dude is sort of the guy who caught her (it was an accident of sorts???) and he felt terrible about the way the pirate dudes were using her and basically treating her terribly, I guess, and also he’s sort of into her. #forbiddenlove So he carries her, because I think she’s also sort of unsteady on her legs…

        I guess I can’t remember if he’s a preacher???? He’s religious. That I know. *nods smartly*

        Weeeeelllll, I would tell you, but that would be HUGE spoilers, so I SHALL REMAIN SILENT, SIR!! Mwahahahahaha!!!!

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        1. COOKIE DOUGH FLAVORED ICE CREAM USED TO BE MY FAVORITE!!!

          Oh no, my secret has been leaked!!

          MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH YES YES YES THEY ARE ALLLLLL DEAADDD!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!

          Okay, but two or so of them do actually survive??? Just to give you a glimmer of hope, there. *pats you on the head*

          I’M CONFUSED.

          WHY WOULD YOU BE A MERMAID IF YOU COULD BE A HUMAN WHO COULD WALK ON LAND WITH REGULAR LEGS AND EVERYTHING IF YOU SIMPLY GOT OUT OF THE WATER????

          HOW DOES A PREACHER ACCIDENTALLY CATCH A MERMAID???

          ALSO I THOUGHT THESE MERMAIDS WERE CREEPY AND CANNIBALISTIC AND PIRANHA-LIKE BEINGS WHO LURED HOT SAILORS TO THE WATER’S EDGE ONLY TO PULL THEM IN AND DROWN THEM????

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  4. Fun! I love seeing the BTS of writer’s influences and different inspiration. There must be something about Narnia, because my first draft was basically a complete rip-off. XD I have since learned how to steal like an artist, not plagiarize.

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  5. I LOOVE mother-daughter friendships! There should be more of them in fiction. *nods*
    Also, YAY FOR DRAGONS! πŸ˜€ Toothless is adorable, and I’m just picturing a miniature version of him…CUUTE!! ❀

    Like

    1. There should! Mom’s get a bad rap… My brothers and I discuss this all the time – in live-action there is the Bad Dad Syndrome and in animated films it’s Bad Moms ugh!!

      Yasss!! Dragons are the best and Toothless is precious!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I STRUGGLE with plagiarism, yo! Like, I get inspired by so many things and THEN IT JUST APPEARS IN MY WRIITNG AND I’M LIKE nooooo what are you doing here get out you cannot be here think of a new ideaaaaaaaaa. But of course, no one listens. *cries* I’m even facing it right now as I brainstorm my new novel??? Like NO. STOP. I DO NOT WANT YOU HERE. *cries again*

    Closer is such a great song! Even though I literally forgot how it went. I just know I liked it when I listened to it. #smart HICCUP IS SO CUTE!!! And also those despairing eyessssssssssssss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad I am not the only one!!! *hugs you for support*

      OH DEAR. Go away! Shoo! ORIGINAL IDEAS ONLY!!! But also a little bit of being inspired by stuff is probably okay??? *casually steals everything* So… what are you currently being inspired by???

      Closer is lovely and dude, those eyes. crush. my. soul.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I get inspired and then the story ends up very close to what I was inspired by… XD I’m getting inspired righr now by the Shades of Magic trilogy. I’m reading the last book and it’s very fantasyish and magical — which is what my novel will (hopefully) be about.

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        1. Hmmmm! Can’t say that I’ve read that trilogy (sadly) but being inspired is always good??? You just have to work it in nice and subtly and make sure that you are inspired by SO MANY things that none of them is particularly noticeable.:D

          PS YOUR NOVEL SOUNDS AWESOME!!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I can totally relate to this. And I’ll confess that most of my stories are largely inspired from movies. I mean, when I come across a story I absolutely love…I want more of it! So I create a similar setting in my mind and similar characters and enjoy it to my heart’s content. πŸ˜‰ And then on the other hand, when I come across a story that particularly frustrates me well…I just HAVE to rewrite it, so…

    I do TRY to disguise the similarities. Really I do. (Though I can’t say I’m always very good at it. Heehee.)

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  8. Hey, this wasn’t boring at all! (I just somehow got behind on my comments…?) This is a really cool idea, actually–and a great way to tell us more about your intriguing story!

    And I had that same problem as a little girl–rewriting my favorite stories and calling them my own. The first book I ever finished a draft of was basically the movie “My Friend Flicka” in book form with different character names. Oh, and less of a plot, of course. But you had the young boy who lives on a ranch crawling with horses, and the feisty little girl with curly golden hair, and the mother and father, and exactly the same time period/setting, and of course the wild but loveable chestnut mare. Ha. Out of early plagiarism comes mature creativity, perhaps? πŸ™‚

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    1. Well, thank you, Lucy!!! (Don’t worry about it!! I am so far behind on everything I probably won’t recover before going on Summer Hiatus and thus get so irrecoverably behind that I will possibly have a heart attack from the strain!!)

      Ah! I hear you! I loved Flicka as a little girl too!! I went through a pretty intense Horse Loving phase. And an Animal Loving phase in general, I think… My first-ever plagiarism was of a dog story I just loved and it was SO OBVIOUS, oh my!!!

      WE CAN CERTAINLY HOPE, CAN’T WE??? πŸ˜€

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  9. I ACTUALLY REALLY LIKE THIS TYPE OF POST!! It’s a fabulous idea, Kate! So much inspiration goes behind a book omg it’s amazing. :’) ALSO PRINCE CASPIAN YAAAAS anything inspired by that scene is most assuredly AWESOME x10000000000000000

    rock on,
    abbiee

    Like

    1. Aw, thank you so much Abbiee!! It was quite a lot of fun to write, so I’m glad people liked the behind the scenes feel of it!!

      Ah, yes, isn’t it gloriousness???

      Like

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