1. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Concerned my space opera plot is too similar to the plot of a video game

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by TimHarris, Jan 4, 2013.

    One of my best childhood memories must be from when I spent the summer when I was 12, playing a computer game named Homeworld.

    In homeworld, a race named the Kushan develop warp drives, unknowingly violating a 4000 year old treaty forbidding them from doing so. After warping back from the first space jump test, they find that their homeworld has been nuked by a foreign alien race. with only 600.000 survivors, they begin a yourney through the universe in search of a new planet to settle.

    I was fascinated by this story, which was unlike anything else I had ever seen at the time. Now I am writing my own space opera in which the humans are forced to abandon their planet as all remaining resources are spent, and having to fight off other space faring races along the way.

    My worry is that whoever read my story will think too much is borrowed from Homeworld, or the more known Battlestar Galactica. Do you think a story like this is perfectly acceptable to write? Most of my story is very different from both, but the premise is basically the same.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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  3. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    You've pointed out one of the biggest problems that author's have faced for hundreds to thousands of years. Every idea has been done in one form or another before.
    I've read hundreds of things that reminds me of something else, but it is certain elements in the stories (like the characters, the plot, the dialect, etc etc) that sets the story apart from the things that are like it. You can easily have a story about a race forced from its homeland, out seeking a new home, and still have it be a masterpiece. You just have to figure out how to do it so that your story is set apart from the rest.
     
  4. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    @Cogito, thanks for the link. A lot of good points were made there that made me feel a lot better about the work I have done so far. I think it is safe to say I got a new will to keep on writing now that I believe I can put some new ideas on the old idea, which is basically the quest to find a home.
     
  5. Corazon Santiago
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    Corazon Santiago Member

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    A story in a video games is presented in an inherently different manner from a story in a book. I wouldn't worry about a book adaptation being redundant, because the manner in which it is told would be fundamentally different.
     
  6. Scarfe
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    Scarfe Member

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    It is more-or-less the same plot as Battlestar Galactica. But then as has been said, it is also a very similar plot to most 'journey' stories. People have to leave A and get to B encountering all sorts of hazards along the way, could be LOTR, The Road etc etc, it just happens to be set in space.
     
  7. Dannabis
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    Dannabis New Member

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    I have to second this. I read/heard somewhere that there are only about 8 plots in circulation which have all been warped to become unique. I think the main reason the OP finds his plot so similar is because he knows the link between the two is there. A story tends to be unique to each reader in my experience.
     
  8. Khaelmin
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    Khaelmin Active Member

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    Considering your mind, imagination, hell, your whole person, are molded by your environment (read: what other people do or did), why are you being so obsessed about originality? How original is your real life? You probably have a job, where you do stuff in exchange for a salary. You definitely had a childhood, during which you've learned and played in one manner or another. You probably have or going to have kids of your own. You're definitely going to die one day. Well, so do the other seven billion people living on Earth. How can one hope to be truly original? Just write what you feel needs to be written.

    Stop worrying about it. Else you risk going insane, and even that has already been done to death. :p
     
  9. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Unless your story progresses scene for scene, plot point for point like the others, there's no need to worry.

    It's not as if you're only the second/third person to write a story about someone/thing being forcibly removed from their place of origin. Let's examine:

    X does Y which is bad and Z happens, meaning X has to leave and find somewhere that sucks less.

    I think you're fine.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there are many books/tv shows/films built on that premise, going back to the birth of sci-fi... so adding one more to the list won't be a problem...

    as long as you don't use the same names for beings or places, or include any major details from earlier works, you're in the clear legally...

    that said, if you have any doubts, don't rely on what anyone here says [including me], consult a literary attorney...
     
  11. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    You are right. I have realized over the past few weeks that what truly makes a story original is the details and little things that fill each page, not the one line summary of the story, which is why I am well on my way into writing it now.
     
  12. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    Yeah. I feel the same frustration because I have always hated the idea that I might be 'unoriginal' (shock). But that story premise you've come up with is great. The human race blundered into its own destruction and yet to survive it must rebel against the universe. What other races may be in the same situation? What shall become of them and who has set these limitations on the whole?

    So what of the Homeworlds and Battlestars! You've just echoed the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind. Heck, how about Daedalus the inventor who suffered long for his arrogance, and his son Icarus who ultimately died for it? Then there's Phaƫton, the son of Helios who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky. He stole the chariot from his father and nearly destroyed everything. Zeus ultimately killed him to save the universe.

    There's a tonne of stories today which are similar, but that's because they all draw from the same cultural 'gene pool' so to speak. You'll find echoes of myth in every story today. So, sure, your story is similar to those two you mentioned, but they are similar to many others. This is how story telling and myth making is done. Imagine the bards and elders of the past who each embellished and improved upon those before or around them, thrilling their listeners with new takes on known ideas.

    Modern concepts of 'creative ownership' are counter to how artists operate and think. This corporatism has stymied our creative juices.
     
  13. Gretchen Brown
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    Gretchen Brown Member

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    I think this can be a concern with anyone who wants to write. I have so often thought of a brilliant idea (so I thought) for a story, only to find something later so similar, I got discouraged with the whole I idea. I think someone else commented on here that most plots are the variation of a few simple themes. Take for example, the stories of Harry Potter, Star Wars and King Arthur. Orphaned boy, wizard/mentor, and epic quest for the defeat of the enemy. As they say, there really is nothing new under the sun. You just have to put your own personalization to anything that makes it uniquely yours.
     

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