1. Dangerboy450
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    Dangerboy450 New Member

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    Done Before: Should I Continue?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dangerboy450, Apr 11, 2012.

    Several years ago I started work on an idea that at the time I felt was fresh and original. I outlined my plot, main characters, and story arc and began writing. I got about 15 pages in and then shelved it. In the years since shelving the project, a number of novels and films have come out dealing with similar plots and characters. I really loved my idea and would like to finish it, but I don't think a publisher would be interested because now, as opposed to then, the plot will seem played out. I am unsure if I should continue, finish it, and submit it or just give up. I highly value originality and I know publishers do as well, so what's the next course of action.

    Cheers,
    Dangerboy450
     
  2. jigsawkid7
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    jigsawkid7 New Member

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    I don't know, in my opinion I would say write it. Every story is different, no two ones ever the same and who knows, you may get halfway through and discover a completely different direction you want to take it in. Besides, if you don't tell this story, no one will. anyways, just my personal view
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ever heard that saying "There are no new ideas"? What's new is how you deal with that "old" idea.
     
  4. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I'm facing the same issue. I started writing the first draft in 1979, and shelved it for about 30 years.

    I can take the rejection, if needed. I'm married, I hear the word 'no' quite often.

    Write the best book you can.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    everything's been done before... but no two people will write the same story based on identical premises/plots... if you let the fact that what you want to do has been done already stop you, then you'll never write anything...
     
  6. Z. C. Bolger
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    Z. C. Bolger Member

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    Danger, write it and here's way. First, if you don't, it will just continue to be incomplete and that will always be hanging around you. Secondly, just because it seems played out doesn't mean it is, get it down on paper, polish the hell out of it and start submitting. Thirdly, let's say you do get turned down by everyone, well if that happens, stick the story away and wait another 5-10 years and resubmit it. What is hot and trendy is a cycle, it will eventually come back around... Unless its about sparkly vampires in which case don't write it (JK, write it even if it's that.)
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Who cares? Just write it!

    Just look at the number of chick flicks/lits and you know that even stories and plotlines that have been done to death can still hit the charts :D and that's not the only genre that happens to either.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This.

    I would also add - never rely on others to validate your own work.
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm told that somewhere on the internet is a review of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea Quartet that pans it for being a rip-off of Harry Potter. Make a good enough job of the retelling and people will think you were the original.
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Dangerboy, sit your ass down and WRITE. I don't like to hear about people who want to write but keep coming up with excuses not to, because I've been there myself. Many years ago, I realized that I wasn't writing because I thought everyone else had already told my stories. I came to the understanding that everybody has told everybody else's stories since the beginning of the human race, but that hasn't stopped writers from writing. Stories NEED to be retold, themes NEED to be reiterated and reinforced, because doing so improves civilization. If we don't keep eating, we die physically. If we don't keep telling our stories, we die intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I had a ribeye steak last week, but I'm hungry, so I want another ribeye steak. I read a story about a farmboy who became a hero and saved the world last week, but I'm hungry now, and I want another one.
     
  11. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    I know how you're feeling. I always hated it when events in real life or TV shows were similar to any of my plotlines. I considered even shelving my novel for a while or just quit it all together the day Obama declared that the US got Bin Laden. Anyway, here's my advice:

    First, wait a little. Maybe the trend will pass, and its 15 minutes will go by quickly, and nobody's going to remember it or at least have it on the front burner.

    Second, if you see it's too similar to something really major, maybe consider changing an important part of your story. I, for example, thought I should kill my favorite character once just to go over the top and distinguish myself from a real life event. I figured that he had to pay the price for reality copying my story. But that's just the first urge.

    Third, I do agree with what others wrote here, about how it's okay to have your own story. No to vampire books are the same. Download the free PDF or audio of Forever Fifteen and you'll see it's far superior to most of the silly vampire novels out there. Btw, I'm not affiliated with author Kimberly Steele. I just liked her story and wanna plug it.
     

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