Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#1
Hello everyone.I am coming to you because I have a question that has been bothering me the last few days. I am currently writing a novel (the first chapter of which will be released in the next few days) and after doing a final review of my construction of the world before releasing the first chapter, I noticed something significant about its atmosphere.

I like Tolkien and Lovecraft a lot, yeah, the opposite would be weird since all the great novels, movies and games of our time are totally influenced by them, so how could I not like something so familiar, even without knowing it?

To sum up, the story I'm writing looks like this: all of humanity is summoned by wizards from another world facing an endless invasion of horrors and demons, in order to use earthlings as soldiers on the front line (understand, they are cannon fodder). The mc is one of those earthlings who survived the many years of this apocalyptic war, but in the end the war is lost and everyone dies. Unfortunately for him, he does not have the chance to know an eternal rest, because when he wakes up he realizes that he has returned to the first day of his invocation (time traval, my old friend).

This is the part that questions me: earthlings can become stronger and access a form of magic, but I didn't want one of those awful and stupid STYSTEMs that abound everywhere(well to be precise, humans have something like that, but in a purely Role Play way). So humans get stronger by absorbing the souls of the demons they kill, and... now that's the problem. I wanted to create a dark universe where we feel the weight of despair and cruelty of reality, but because of the influence of the Dark souls games is so strong that it's impossible for me not to feel like I'm reading fan fiction distracted from the games now.

Dark Souls games have been very influenced by... Lovecraft and Tolkien, the undead can put souls under a curse (my humais too), the world setting is neo-gothic style, the kingdoms are big, and despair and death are everywhere. And to top it all off, madness is brewing and cosmic horrors are not far away. Hmm, really? it reminds me of something now.

Do you have any advice for me? Honestly I don't plan to change the thread of my story or my world building, because that's exactly how I like it, but if I think of Darks Souls when I read the story I created from scratch, even though I'm influenced by the works I've seen before, my readers will inevitably think of it too.

What should I do with this resemblance? Is it a burden? An advantage? Can it cause me problems? Thank you for your thoughts.

Thank you.

Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#5
absorbing souls, soul energy or whatever you want to call it isn't unique to the Dark Souls universe, there have been epic fantasies before Tolkien, getting cursed into a warped semblance of life by demons is practically ancient and the old alchemy and mysticism where people tried to commune with 'greater beings' for their wisdom and turned insane (mercury fumes do that to you. Don't do mercury, kids, it's bad for you) could very well be the foundation for Lovecraft and the writers he drew his inspiration from.

As long as you're not copying names and places from those works or otherwise literally copying things, but just getting your inspiration, you're fine

Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#6
Every story is inspired by something. Sometimes noticeably, sometimes not. Dark Souls isn't the first thing to be inspired by a mix of Tolkien and Lovecraft and it won't be the last. Why should your readers thinking of Dark Souls be a bad thing either? It could actually be a strength for your story and I don't mean in a fanfiction sort of way. Most readers may not even notice the similarities, and if they do they're probably the type that want more things similar to Dark Souls in the first place.

As for the mechanic of humans getting stronger by absorbing the soul of others, I don't think anyone would really think too much about it. As long as you've made it your own, it should be fine.

Besides, there are things out there that actually suggest that both Tolkien and Lovecraft were influenced by the same materials when it came to writing horror, and many of the themes in both works can be traced back to even older works by other authors. Even they were copying someone else on some level.

Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#7
Wow, thank you for your answers, they are very useful to me.
Concerning Tolkien, I know that he himself was strongly inspired by tales and folklore, like for example The Nordic Völsunga saga (which tells the story of a powerful ring and a reforged sword) or the tale of Beowulf, and for Lovecraft I don't know.

I had read somewhere that it would be a good idea of we should stop following the master and start following what the master followed. So I tried it by creating the magic system by taking inspiration from the western magic tradition, especially from the Czech witch stories. And honestly, it was interesting to see where these masters were inspired and what influenced them. Before mixing the two and creating something a little bit different.

But it honestly takes a lot of time, and in many ways it would be easier to just take inspiration from the writings of the masters before us.

Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#8
You realize that a ton of fantasy is just LOTR fan-fiction, right? Hell, Eragon is just A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in a janky middle-earth. Nobody is going to care if your novel bears a little resemblance to another work of fiction. 

That said, I'd kill for a well-written novel that details the rise and fall of Gwyn. I love the story of Dark Souls so much

Re: Request for advice about the resemblance of the universe of my novel with the Dark Souls games

#9
What you say is totally true. Um, having said that, I just found out that one of the religious factions in one of my kingdoms has the same name as a faction in a well-known game (diablo), The Sisterhood of the Blind Eye. I thought I had found a cool name that conveyed their role well.

Before this position I would have strongly wondered about it, but now I don't really want to change it, and who cares about the names of factions in games enough to remember them anyway? I too have the right to make up some really cool names, damn it.

Thank you for your sharing.