1. ReptilianAgent
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    ReptilianAgent New Member

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    A Series I really want to write seems similar to one I currently enjoy.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ReptilianAgent, Sep 5, 2016.

    I'm New wI've spent a few years working on a hard-science fiction series on my free time. I've tried writing a few other stories prior but I keep scrapping them all because they never stuck out to me. Alas here I am, I finally have the perfect Idea, one I've wanted to do for eons. But there is this one issue I've run into that's really hurting my confidence and making me doubt my Idea. The overall world of my series is just too similar to a currently existing sf series that I happen to be a big fan of written by an author I admire.

    -They both have a grounded and realistic take on space travel, combat, and colonization of other worlds.
    -The technologies are too similar since i'm trying to make It as realistic as possible but cant exactly shake off the similarities in tech.
    -They both start with humanity being isolated at first but gradually incorporate an ancient-alien theme. The aliens are long dead and left some dangerous tech behind that could really change humanity forever.
    -They both have different factions trying to use dangerous ancient-alien tech for personal gain.
    -They are both heavily centered around politics.
    -They both have cultures which are a heavy mix of different Earth cultures.
    -The protagonist is a fugitive with good intentions looking to delve deeper in a conspiracy.
    -They both go in depth on the effect of low gravity on the human body.
    -They are both written in third person limited with different POV's but mostly center around one particular character.

    Though I am glad that there are plenty of differences, but they don't quite lift any of my concerns.

    -The ancient alien plots appear to be going in two completely different directions so far. Mine centers around possible past connections between humanity and these aliens, while in the other story it looks like the Aliens had no connection with humanity in the past.
    -The protagonist is a total sociopath and pathological liar, while in the other story the protagonist has a white-knight complex.
    -My plot is mostly centered around the mystery behind the protagonist and his psychological evolution throughout the series. The other one does center around the evolution of it's protagonist, but in a completely different way.
    -My story starts with humanity already colonized 15 different solar systems, while the other one is set only in our solar system, but later branches out to other systems.
    -I'm happy with how unique all of my characters are, they don't appear to have any similarities with the characters in the other series.


    There are some more minor similarities, but I don't feel like writing a novel's worth of words on this thread.


    At this point my story has become my baby. I don't want to abandon it or change anything drastically, but my motivation for writing is slipping down the drain. Have any of you guys come across a similar situation or am I just crazy here? If so, is there any advice you guys can give me?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For me, it depends on what came first: your idea or you reading this series? If the former, not a problem. If the latter, it's a problem. That's me looking at it from a writer's perspective; I don't think many of us can be successful when we're trying to copy or emulate authors we admire. We need to find our own voices and style.

    From a legal perspective, there's not enough here for any accusations of plagiarism to work. Not by a long shot.

    From a reader's perspective, nothing here would make me pause. The similarities are so general that you can probably find a dozen books that fit the bill.

    I'd just be honest with myself--am I trying to copy?
     
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  3. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    All genres have their common ideas. And we all have our primary sources of inspiration.

    More readers will be attracted to your story by what makes it different than be repelled by what makes it the same as those that came before it. People who love sci-fi are fans because they love the common themes and shared ideas, and want to see them expressed in new in exciting ways. At least, speaking as a sci-fi fan, that's how I feel.
     
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  4. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    You read stories and sometimes you think of things you'd change, you'd add or take away. Those are your preferences. I haven't found a book that goes exactly where I want it to go, so I decided to write one. I take inspiration from other books, films and games but I'm careful not to copy.

    Both sound good, i'd read both. What's the name of the series btw?
     
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  5. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    The answer here is to twist it , change it, bugger about with it

    when i started writing after the wave, it quickly became apparent that i was writing a pale imitation of the walking dead - so ive bumped it 40 years into the future (of course now its more reminiscent of 'deathlands' but i'm less worried about that because i'm significantly different, plus deathlands has degenerated into pulp from where it wa when James Adrian/Jack Axler wrote the first ones )
     
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  6. ReptilianAgent
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    ReptilianAgent New Member

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    The series is called The Expanse
     
  7. ReptilianAgent
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    ReptilianAgent New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. So I decided to write down every detail of my universe in an outline format. I listed all of the solar systems, specific planets, space stations and all notable locations, most political powers, and the technologies. Having all of the information in front of me to see actually helped me realize what to keep and what to throw away. The latter makes up a surprisingly short list. Having most of the details in my head rather than written out became a problem. As soon as I put this information out in front of me, I realized I was mostly being paranoid, Its not that similar. They share common sci-fi tropes and that's the most of it, though I did have to change a few things. All in all I feel a bit better about the story. The list was an awesome idea. Now everything is organized in a neat little outline that I can tweak here and there and see where everything falls into place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

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