Through a book

Question: I want to write a high fantasy series, with the main characters being a girl (15 at the start) and her brother (2 years younger, on the eve of his 13th birthday at the start). It takes place in a fictional world of course, and though several cultures (mostly Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek and Ancient East Asian) went into the making of this world, I have always been of fan of manga (Japanese comics) and do take some influence from them. I try to keep a clear line between "influence" and "rip-off" of course, but any advice you can give on just how to do that would be welcome. My main question is this though: The main characters are from the real world, and are taken into the fictional one. The way they go is a sort of cross between 2 similar events I've seen in manga stories. In "Fushigi Yuugi", the main character is taken into a fantasy version of Ancient China through opening a magic book, while in "Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori" ("The Sky Is on the Banks of the Red River", Known in the west as simply "Red River" or "Anatolia Story"), the main character is dragged through time to the Ancient Hittite Empire through a puddle by a sorceress who can manipulate water. I put the two together, and so my main characters are dragged through a book. My friends asked what the background of this mysterious book was, and it dawned on me that I never thought about that. Also, while I was planning to have the person who dragged them through the book be the villain, as was the case in Red River, I really would rather not do that. But now I have no clue who should be the one to have done it or why. I really like my way of magically transporting the main characters to this fantasy world and would rather not change it. Any advice at all! Thank you VERY much! Really sorry to type such a long question...


Answer: Don't get too attached to an idea. The question your friends asked is quite valid. I would suggest you spend some time brainstorming possible answers to that question: what is the origin of that book?

Don't rush into it. Allow yourself time to play with the possibilities. I suspect it will eventually lead you to an answer that is original and far more interesting.

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