1. Merlin
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    Merlin Member

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    Combining Two Ideas, Stealing or not?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Merlin, Feb 13, 2011.

    Okay, having recently read Gone, and Hunger, both by Michael Grant, and both books revolving around the theory of children being cut off from the outside world, I couldn't help thinking about if I borrowed the idea, modified it slightly and then made an invading race of aliens the cause?

    Would that be okay, or would that be classed as plagerisim, which is something I really don't want to do.

    Got any thoughts?

    Also, yeah, it's been a while, not sure if anybody remembers me though.

    Merlin Out.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    nope perfectly fine - my books pinch ideas from all over the place as do most peoples.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Using a basic theme and then changing it to make it your own is fine. Just don't rip off things like places, original fantasy races, scenes, etc.
     
  4. Merlin
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    Merlin Member

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    Thanks for the comments folks, now I have one more question, and that is how to begin my story. I've got a couple of ideas in mind for the opening, that I'm stuck with.

    1. Start at the end, with the main charachter getting ready for the final fight against the aliens, and then having a flashback to the first day, and to when it all begun.

    2. Start in a crowded supermarket, with a group of friends going shopping, and then suddenly, everyone disappering from view, leaving all of the children/teenagers alone in said supermarket, and the surrounding area.

    And, the third idea, is if you guys can come up with anything that looks good :).

    Merlin Out
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I prefer the second, but make sure the kids at the supermarket have a pre-alien-arrival conflict to deal with. If it's just 5 pages of kids going shopping, readers will put the book down, so give them lots of tension and drama about something else.
     
  6. Merlin
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    Merlin Member

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    Thanks for the feedback :)
     
  7. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have cookies. You have cream.

    Combine them to make your own recipe for cookies and cream. :D
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You can't plagiarise ideas, only writing. Borrowing ideas from other sources is done constantly by virtually every writer there is.
     
  9. CrimsonReaper
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    CrimsonReaper Active Member

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    Inspiration versus Stealing

    There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a particular genre or even a particular idea/archetype common to said genre. Write what you love or don't write at all. Go play golf or something.

    That said, make it your own. I like the alien idea. I hate the flashback idea. Don't like them. Feel that 99.999999999999998% of the time they are completely pointless. Write in the "now" of the story. The second idea (supermarket) is at least ten percent more awesome. Start out with the kids arguing with their parents/older siblings and then bam, they are gone. Let them angst (a little) over not getting to say goodbye.
     
  10. Merlin
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    Merlin Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys, now I've got another question to throw at you all. Seeing as I'm going with option two, I've decided to expand it so we have a typical town high street.

    Now, my question is, would it be okay to name a real-life store, say for example WHSmith, in my novel?
     
  11. CrimsonReaper
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    Under US law, yes. You can have an epic fantasy battle in the middle of a Wal-mart or a Sears if you want. As long as the book is labeled fiction it doesn't really matter. I seem to recall that in one of the Dresden Files books there is a magical battle in the garden section of the local Wal-mart.

    The problem would come if the book were made into a movie and you wanted to depict that scene. At that point you would have to pay for use of any trademarked imagery. No one owns words. They own a trademark (no one owns the name Starbuck's, they own the right to use that fancy green logo).
     

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