1. drewhosick
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    drewhosick New Member

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    Concerned About My Idea

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by drewhosick, Jan 17, 2014.

    Hi there,

    Brand new to the forums and to be honest, a brand new writer. Well not really, I've previously tried writing and got 30 pages in or so on more than one occasion and gave up. After starting to read Creative Writing For Dummies they say that one of the biggest reasons people give up is because they don't use the writing strategy that works for them(whether you're a seat of the pants writer, write and edit, outliner, etc...) But I digress.

    I want to do this right this time and i'm working on a full length outline. Anyways, I've always had a fascination with mazes and my story revolves around a deadly maze. The problem is, and those of you who have read James Dashner's series Maze Runner know where I'm going with this, I am worried because this story happens in a maze and so does the first book in his series. Now the premise and the reasons behind the maze don't have any similarities but I'm worried that because they both happen in a maze I will be crossing a plagiarism line in terms of the central location of the book. I know that there are many books that happen to take place on boats or in New York City, for example, but this feels different and a maze seems like such a specific location, even if it isn't the same maze. Should I just forget the idea altogether?
     
  2. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    people have said it before many times in here and it is one of the best advice i ever heard :D (i have also never heard of Maze Runner).
    everything has been done before. It doesn't matter that you have similarities with another writer, what matters the most is how you present your story, be it a maze or a schoolyard, New York or Ancient Egypt, you need to find confidence in your idea and make it original. besides everything we see, smell , taste , feel and hear is psycologically linked with our memories, and it's those memories that make us with time like what we end up liking (there is always room for change of course ) but if you are worried that people won't like it then don't , otherwise we should stop enjoying dragon in fantasy novels and murders in mystery. (i hope that covers your hesitation :D :p )
     
  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    One word: Theseus.

    Dashner didn't have a problem "plagiarizing" the myth of King Minos, and neither should you ;)

    Characters and story are more important than setting, and as long as your characters are doing different things in your maze than Dashner's did in his, then you are telling a different story for which no one in their right mind would complain.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all above... it's not plagiarism, by any stretch of the imagination or the law...
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I just finished reading The Maze Runner a few days ago actually. A good story ruined by utterly terrible, terrible writing and characterisation.

    Anyway, no, how could that be plagiarism? Don't be silly and write it! :p

    Besides, being trapped in a maze is really nothing new. The old horror Cube is essentially a very similar concept if you think about it (trying to find the way out of a tonne of corridors, where each chamber moves after a certain interval and the path thus changes).
     
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  6. drewhosick
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    drewhosick New Member

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    Funny. I thought it was an absolutely fantastic novel. Guess I'm not critical enough.
     
  7. Sarah Anderson
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    Sarah Anderson New Member

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    It really doesn't matter if it starts in a maze. Thousands of books start in a cemetery. Nobody has copyright over a location. Believe in yourself and your own writing and keep going.
     
  8. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    If the woman who wrote Divergent didn't get sued for her drug version of the sorting hat, you're not going to get sued for your characters being in a maze (not like Daedalus is suing the guy who wrote maze runner).
     
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  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If you're worried about the setting, don't. Locations and time periods are not copyright claimed, which is why I could write a mystery series set in Ancient Rome and not be sued by Lindsey Davis. So long as my characters and plot are my own, no one's going to care. You can set your story anywhere and at any time. How many novels written by different authors are set during World War II for instance? Quite a lot, I can assure you. :D If you want your story to be in a maze, then put it in a maze.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Someone's suing the guy who wrote Maze Runner? Why?
     
  11. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    I was kidding, Daedalus is the guy who designed the minotaur's labyrinth :p

    Additionally, if the OP wants to avoid any legal action, he could also call his novel 'Labyrinth sprinter' :p
     
  12. Sheriff Woody
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    Sheriff Woody Active Member

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    If you're worried that your maze may be too similar to another maze, change the properties of your maze. Make it different.

    The Labyrinth is quite a unique maze with its own properties, dangers, structure, build, size, location, look, feel, etc. It will never be confused with a corn maze, for example. You want your maze to stand out in the same way. Make it unique. Give it character. If you do this, and as long as your story is different enough from other maze stories, you're all good.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I actually have no idea what minotaur's labyrinth is... got a link? :D
     
  14. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minotaur

    I was just mentioning the old greek myth about the minotaur (who was kept in a labyrinth).
     
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  15. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Don't give up!

    There was a maze (of sorts) in Tron, one of the Harry Potter books features a maze, as too does Labyrinth, Mazes and Monsters, Dungeons and Dragons, The Goonies, Alice in Wonderland, Cube, Resident Evil ... and so on.

    Giving up on this now, would be the cowards' way out. If you are going to be a writer/author and you want to write about mazes then do so, make it your mission to ensure that your story is different, brings something new to the table and gives readers something to get excited about.

    If we all stopped writing because someone else had already wrote a book about ghosts, goblins, fairies, UFO's, aliens, sex, the mysteries of love, murder, abuse, dreams, tomahawks (for @KaTrian ) Cowboys, tarts and vicars ... then there would be no more books.

    So suck it up, pick up that pen (or open your word processor) and WRITE THE DAMN STORY!

    :-D Said with love x
     
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  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ahaa. You see, I immediately thought you might have been talking about The Labyrinth - you know, the Spanish film.
     

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