Absolutely nothing – but on the other hand, The Art of War is great. Having just gotten through my copy I can definitely see how it’s already affecting me. My gameplay in Fortnite, the way I’m trying to write this scene in the new book; it’s influenced by Sun Tzu, and I think it might always have been.
While I admit I’ve never read his work before, it’s come up so often – and has been adopted by so many movies, television shows, books, and even games – that I feel like I’ve always been incorporating parts of it here and there. There are scenes from OWOW (the code name of my first book) that take quite a bit from Sun Tzu’s philosophy, and I feel like that’s just natural. He’s quite obviously the de-facto source for all things war (and really all interaction against an opponent of any type), so even though I hadn’t learned from him directly there was so much that others had learned from him in their work that I’d gleaned a lot of it through situational analysis.
On the other hand, reading his work in full gives a much bigger and more thorough picture of his philosophy. You learn to consider more than just the obvious, which leads to stronger and tighter maneuvers when you come up against the same problems you might have dealt with somewhat less expediently or successfully in the past.
There are also many quotes that drive the true meaning of some of the ideals home, which obviously aren’t a part of everyone’s works. Though I’ve heard Sun Tzu quoted before, the quotes I hadn’t heard were some of the most hard hitting. One of my favourites has been; ‘War is like unto fire; those who will not put aside weapons are themselves consumed by them.’ The truth about something as violent as war (or fire) is not often so beautifully stated.
The Art of War is a book that I think anyone who struggles with an opponent should read, and it’ll be one I refer to for the rest of my life. I think it deserves to be on every bookshelf, and it’ll forever have a place on mine.