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  1. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    Allusions

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mifio, Aug 27, 2011.

    I've always had a problem with my works. I LOVE taking things from other stories or tales I've read or heard. I started planning my current story about a year ago, and even though I actually haven't written anything for it for the past 8 months (I'm pretty sure it's stale by now, I figured I was going to scrap it and start anew, but it has relevance to this topic).

    Anyway, on topic.
    My current (former) story turned out to be a long journey. The main character, David, has to cross infected territory (yeah, yeah, zombie novel. It's not kosher, I realize, but I enjoyed writing it for a few months) to reach his Home. Along the way he encounters a myriad of dangers, from both the living and dead, as well as nature.

    I started drawing similarities between the Odyssey and my work, to the point where I was naming some of the creatures verbatim from Homer's works, as well as structuring my plot in a very similar way. And I realized that it had to stop. I wasn't alluding to works, I was blatantly copying from them.

    So what I want to know is when is the line drawn? Where does Allusion change into stealing? And what are some ways I can allude effectively without being obvious?

    Also, on a completely different note, my novel is only 10k words, I'm a slow writer. However, my writing style has changed a great deal since I last added on to it. Should I just continue with the novel anyway and just edit it later? Or scrap it for a new project. I have a few ideas, so it shouldn't be too much trouble.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    My advice: give it up and start over. Maybe on it. Maybe on something else.

    Difficult to say whether your allusions/ borrowings are beginning to detract from what you're doing, but, if you think it's problematic, it likely is.

    I imagine your style has changed for the better. (I sure hope that's the case). Unlikely that adapting your previous work - stylistically - will be easy or entirely successful. Quite possible, that if you were to start again, this happy new style might, by some strange alchemy, prompt you to create a wholly different story. (Style influences things beyond style.)
     
  3. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Odyssey + zombies....it may work, as long as it's subtle, therrefore I'd avoid to use the same names, exact plotlines (Circes, Polyphemus, the trusted dog outside the king's palace who dies when his master finally arrives...) but still the idea of a inner journey in zombieland is a concept you may work on.
     
  4. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I think the same thing. There's plenty of allusion in Hollywood. I would say so long as you have a cool story to tell, go for it. It sounds interesting to me.
     
  5. Admin
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    Admin Contributing Member

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    Even automobile companies use them. The Honda Odyssey is a prime example. I think it would actually be really cool if you alluded greatly to Homer's Odyssey in your zombie novel. I would especially like to see the trusted dog make an appearance. There's just something special about a familiar tale being zombiefied.
     

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