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  1. Asturn
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    Asturn New Member

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    Does this sound original? (PLEASE comment)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Asturn, Mar 31, 2009.

    So I've had an idea for a fantasy novel for quite a long time (since I was eleven, actually) and I hope to go far with it. Here is a little background: it started with a drawing I did at my friend's house when I was younger, and it has since evolved from there. My only problem is that lately I have been feeling discouraged about the plot and some other things, because a little of it resembles Paolini's Eragon, and the rest in his cycle.

    To clear something up, I was actually working on this idea before I had even heard about Eragon, believe it or not. A friend of mine introduced me to the book some time later, and I was really dismayed and frustrated when I learned of how many similarities there were to Paolini's book and my own idea.

    So now I would love it if you could review this for me, and let me know if it would make a good book, or if the idea isn't original enough to capture anyone's attention.
    The Plot: Erin Griffen (15) has just moved to Oregon with her parents and little brother, Jake (9). There, she grows attached to a forest bordering their new property and frequently visits it. One day she finds a small black stone and she decides to keep it. But days later, as she is walking in the forest, a giant black dog attacks her. Although the creature has wounded her, with the help of her German shepherd dog and her father's hunting rifle she manages to kill it. Knowing that her parents wouldn't believe her if she told the truth about the attack, Erin lies and weaves a convincing story about startling a bear and it attacking her. Sometime later, she encounters another giant dog, only this one is smaller and weaker. Erin decides to help this one, and the two become friends. She learns that the dog can speak her language, and he tells her his name: Züs. Züs tells her about another world called Asturn that he and his family fled from, and that with the power of the black stone Erin found, they can get there. One day Erin's mother discovers Züs and threatens to call the police, so with no other option Erin and Züs flee to Asturn during the night. There, they meet Zya and Nade, a man and another giant dog. The four become friends and Erin and Züs end up staying in Asturn for several days. One day, Nade spots Erin reading a book about Asturn she had gotten from her grandfather's attic. He recognizes the author's name, and informs Erin that the author was once a prince of Asturn. And Erin could be related. Shocked, Erin agrees to return to the real world to question her grandfather about this possibility, but when she gets back she finds that her house has been burned to the ground, her parents dead, and her brother dying. Erin and the others try to save her brother Jake, but he ends up dying later in Asturn. With no home or family left to return to, Erin makes the decision to stay in Asturn and learn more about her history.

    The rest of the plot is murky from there. Erin, Züs, Nade and Zya, with the help of a gryphon, go on to learn that her grandfather in fact was the prince of Asturn, and that he is the brother of a wicked man named Zarkinnion who seeks to overthrow the current king of Asturn. The rest goes on about an all-powerful amulet hidden away that only the descendants of the past kings (Erin being one of them because of her relations) of Asturn can wield. It's a race against time as Erin tries to find this amulet, while Zarkinnion is searching for it himself.

    So what do you think? I've tried very hard to get it as original as I can, but there are some things that I can't change... and am also a little unwilling. Comments and constructive criticism are very welcomed! Do you think this would make a good book, or does it just sound like a rip-off of other fantasy novels? Thanks!
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog will be along in a bit with his standard reply to this question... basically, it's that any idea can make a good book in the hands of a good writer... and no idea can, in the hands of a poor one... so, it's not a question anyone can answer and a waste of time to ask it...
     
  3. Asturn
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    Asturn New Member

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    I was hoping for more of an opinion than anything else. And that's a waste of time?
     
  4. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no point to asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read this thread about What is Plot Creation and Development?

    (and yes, this is a template post, which should give you an idea of how often this comes up.)

    The only issue is whether you can write it in a way that sells it to the readers.
     
  5. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    The most well-known reply, taken from none other than Cogito. :D Hehe, I always wanted to do that :p
     
  6. thabear637
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    thabear637 Member

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    I think what he meant was it is a waste of time asking it. Simply for the reason he stated. That a story with a good idea/plot in the hands of a bad writing won't come out to anything, while even a bad idea/plot in the hands of a good writer could come out to be something good.

    If you are looking for a yes go for it no don't go for it, all I can (and what most people would say) is go for it. You got the idea, and if you are like me, you won't let go of the idea until you have written the book anyways.

    (btw if you look around a bit on these forums you'll notice a lot of posts asking if an idea is good, and yes the same replies come up.)

    So to sum up: If it helps you out if I say its a good idea, then yes it is a good idea write it. But like it's been said...it's whether or not you can write it.
     
  7. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yeah, go for it. If you notice, Eragon has TOO MANY elements taken from Star Wars and LOTR. I mean, a lake called Isenstar? The whole rebellion against evil Empire thing? These things have been done countless times, and yet the Inheritance Cycle turned out to be a Best-seller. So, as I said, go for it. And good luck, of course!
     
  8. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Sounds original, but I'm not much into the "talking animal" genre aside from Narnia so I probably wouldn't be the one to know.

    By the way, I would expect Cogito to pop up here any second by now and Post about how the concept does not matter because people will either say "sounds great" or "this is a rip-off of..." Just you wait and see, he'll come...;)
     
  9. ModestKittee
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    ModestKittee Member

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    I think you should go for it. :)

    Btw, there is no such thing as an "original" idea anymore.
     
  10. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    The only "original" you'll find in a story is maybe the way it is pulled off, and to certain degree the believable (if you make them so) and likeable characters the readers can relate to. Maybe another original point would be the POV in the story (i.e. the villain's POV, you get my point).
     
  11. B-Gas
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    B-Gas Contributing Member

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    Ideas don't matter. If it's executed well enough, you can write "guy meets girl" fiction and it could be the greatest thing in the world. If it's not executed well, even a story concept handed to you by Calliope herself won't carry your manuscript.

    Write the thing. Then show us. We'll help you.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As Marcelo quoted (but with the links):
    Seriouslly, don;t wreck your energy by trying to get opinions on the story at this stage. Put the effort in and write it out fully. Then work on making it more compelling, by improving how you tell the story.
     
  13. Asturn
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    Asturn New Member

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    Thank you every one for your reassuring comments. I guess I will just go ahead and write it, then consult some friends or other writers for their opinion on it. Thank you.

    If it's possible, could someone delete or lock this thread? It's no longer necessary.
     
  14. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    She-bang! There it is! :D
     
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