1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ever had a plot idea that you KNEW was a ripoff of something already in existance...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Link the Writer, Aug 3, 2011.

    ...yet it won't go away?

    Basically, this gem appeared in my head after I watched As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me, a movie about a German POW making his way from Russia all the way to Germany after WWII ended.

    Already, you can kinda guess what my plot gem's about. A soldier lost in WWII-era Europe and he's trying to make it back home. Of course, it goes, "But here's the catch! He's not a POW, not a German, he's a soldier that became M.I.A. for whatever reason and not only does he have to look after himself, but he has to look after an orphaned child of the enemy."

    So...it's the movie I've seen, except this time the guy's not a POW, he's not German and he's got a kid with him. No matter how many times I argue with that thought, it still acts like it's somehow remotely original. "Okay, well, maybe instead of WWII, it's happening in WWI?" it says, "Or maybe it happens in some other war that's not these two?"

    What should I do about this? Advice?
     
  2. bumblebot
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    bumblebot Senior Member

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    Everything's been done, but when I think a story of mine is too closely mimicking something else, I'll watch or read other titles in the same genre. I can see what happens a lot, what is unique to certain titles, and what is unique to mine. Also, often something else inspires me to change a part of my story.
     
  3. CrispJ
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    CrispJ New Member

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    I feel for you because I've done the same thing but, if you really want to write it, why not? Just get it out of your system and then move on.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree that everything's been done before.

    But I do think even if something very close has been done there is plenty of room to make this original and make it your own.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I think a story like that set in WW1 would be a freaking great change.

    But having an idea, or concept that you are sure is not your own is very common. There is a name for it, but I forget what it is.
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's what I figured as well. WWI, a lesser-explored war (and it was once called "The Great War").

    As for nationality? Hmmm...Russian and German? That's what immediately appeared in my head when the gem traveled in.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The Eastern front is not really talked about much, despite the fact that it was vastly more mobile and dramatic. I say, go for it if you want.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I thought the Eastern Front was talked about a lot? Then again, I'm not that well versed in WWII history. XD

    Ah, by that I don't mean like I know nothing about WWII. Of course not, I know a good chunk about WWII. I just assumed the Eastern Front was discussed just as much as the Western Front.

    Another issue I had about having a Russian soldier was...well...the Russian soldiers weren't exactly nice to the German people...and....yeah...
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I was talking about WW1's eastern front.
     
  10. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Steerpike beat me too it :D. I concur on what he is saying, i feel not everything has been done before and if it was somewhat similar but you can make it original. But yes, sometimes i get ideas that are very similar to other stories but i never write them down, cause they are not something that i think can be made into a bright light. But i have written a couple that i felt weren't original plot-wise but i changed it up a notch and it was much better.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Ah, sorry. My bad. :]

    Very well. It is settled.

    I shall conduct research into World War One via reading books such as The Guns of August, and collecting some Jeff Shaara books about World War One to get a better sense of what was going on during this period.

    I think I just found a new period to study! =D
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    It's not a problem.

    But with The Great War there are a great number of scenarios and theaters that you could use and are not well known. The Russian front, the middle eastern theater, the Balkans, and Africa during WW1 are hardly ever talked about.
     
  13. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I wonder why they don't talk about the Siege in Africa in WW2. Mussolini was just as threatening as Hitler.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That's true. There was the fighting in Abyssinia too.

    But Mussolini wasn't as much of a threat. Italy was actually a very poorly ran country under the Fascists, and it's army was very poorly organised. The only reason there was the Afrika Corps was because Italian troops were so bad Hitler had to send backup he didn't really have.
     
  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    ^ Plus, didn't Hitler have to save Moussolini's arse a time or two? Hard to take a dictator seriously if he's busy screaming at the other guy for help.

    *is now jotting notes*

    The soldier will be German. Name? Otto...something. Will pick an excellent last name for him.

    The girl will be a Russian serf girl. Name? Will have to research.

    Am already thinking of how he gets seperated from his army and meets this girl. =D

    Ooo, I can feel the fires of creativity stirring! Good thing I already have The Guns of August as I can begin my research into this war! :D
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah, Hitler ordered Moussolini to be rescued in a really daring escape involving - if I remember correctly - a glider from off the top of a mountain.

    And Russian names? I prescribe Crime and Punishment.
     
  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Um...I'm not sure whether or not I should be laughing at the image of a German soldier on a glider jumping off of a mountain and aiming down onto Moussolini's capital with Valkyrie playing in the background...
     
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  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If it's been done before, it usually means it's probably a good idea. If it's been repeated and copied loads, then all the more.

    The trick isn't in having an original basis for a novel. The trick is in presenting that in a fresh way. Truth is, if you look at most classics, they're either what we'll call "cheesy" today had it been a modern novel, or else nothing much really happens in it. You see, it's really the way you present something, and the soul is in the characters. (and also, think disaster movies! The story is the same, only the disaster is different - but it's still a hit! People wanna see how the characters are going to react - that's basically what those films are about even though they're usually badly done)

    You create a character readers will love, you have yourself a winner.

    In short, go for it :) Read and watch other things in the genre for more inspiration so it won't be a carbon copy of something else. As long as it's yours, that's all that matters.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Will do.

    I might watch All's Quiet on the Western Front, though I'm told it's a very sad, sad, sad movie. =(
     
  20. Shadow Reeves
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    Shadow Reeves Contributing Member

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    your character -> is how you make it original. just because the story has been done before, and odds are that it happened many many times in real life as people tried to regroup after the war, does not mean that your story is not genius. if your character is powerful, deep and generally someone the readers can conenct to in any original or cliched way then it is worth writing.

    Shadow Reeves
     
  21. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    yep i have a similar problem with my story. and because iv been trying to cut out similarities it has really damaged my creativity for it, so i have to say its one of the hardest peices iv had to write and the only time it ever flows when im writing is when after writing - i re-read it, and think thats gona get comments like thats similar to....blah blah.
    so the good flowing peice goes out the window :(
    so iv decided i think im just gona have to write it all and just go with the flow and once its finished then start to think where things need to be changed to make it more original.
    but it is definatly the hardest one iv ever had to write its a realy slow process.
    but its also one of my favorite stories too when i just think about it and i love my characters.
     
  22. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    I have loads of ideas which it turns out are ripoffs of other things/have already been done. Hell, yesterday I was really excited about this idea I had for a stageplay, and I was telling my friend about it on msn. The only feedback I got from her was a link to a wikipedia page of something similar.

    I would say push on with your idea anyway, the premise may be similar but your characters and situations will be different, but then I don't practice what I preach. I've scrapped my idea and many others beforehand even though I KNOW they will be different, just because people wont ever look past that similarity.
     
  23. Seye
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    Seye Member

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    The same story can be told in many ways, just because someone else thought of it first, doesn't mean you can give it a different pov.

    Write first. Worry later.
     

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