Okay, disclaimer. I'm one of those people who have to pick everything apart at the seams and examine each thread under a microscope and I tend to be quite blunt, to the point of Brutal Honesty
. It is absolutely not
my intention to be condescending or rude or...anything. I'm trying to help. But if I get too harsh and cross too far into Drill Sergeant Nasty
territory, or if you're just fed up with me, just give the word and I'll shut up.
Having said that. You have to break out of that tendency of measuring everything by what Tolkien did. He's a great writer, but he's a) not the only one, b) not the God of Literature and c) if I wanted to read what Tolkien did, I'd just read Tolkien, plain and simple.
Of course a bio-mechanical dragon is a spin on the original idea, but it lacks a bit in inertia, if you ask me.
You asked once what the difference between a rip off and 'inspired by'/ a reimagining is.
A rip off takes the source material with all its elements, changes a couple of minor details such as setting and character apearances, maybe some minor plot points, but leaves the bulk of the story intact.
A reimagining, or a story that is inspired by another story, takes the original, boils it down to the fundamental concepts contained within it and uses those concepts as the seeds from which to grow a new story. Or maybe it approaches the original from an entirely new angle.
Take the Arthurian Legend, for example. It's been retold, reimagined and adapted a hundred times. There's the series Merlin
which took the characters from the original legend, but introduced an entirely new dynamic to the Arthur/Merlin relationship by making them the same age rather than having Merlin be an old wizard in a pointy hat and Arthur's mentor. Queen Guinevere was a maid and a seamstress that Arthur falls in love with, rather than a political match.
Marion Zimmer-Bradley retold the Arthurian Legend from the point of view of Morgaine, Arthur's half sister and created a very different story from Mommoth's popular epic.
There are other adaptations, but those examples should suffice.
You have to think away
from the source material, not toward
it. Let's say that I had read the tale of Kullervo. Why would I want to read your story? What is so different about it that it should peak my interest?
Complicated - because simple is simply too simple.