1. Garfiun
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    Garfiun Member

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    Got a new idea! Need Help.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garfiun, Jul 20, 2010.

    Well on friday I thought of a new novel idea and have been sorting it out since.

    It involves creating a magical world along side our world that is only seen by people who know.

    I have got lots of stuff sorted like names, shops, games, laws settings but just need fine tuning.

    My problem is I can't get past the fact to me it is all coming across a bit too Harry Potteresque even though the only similarities are that its about magical people and the magical people don't show themselves to non-magical people.

    How could I overcome this?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just do. Story ideas aren't copyrightable, and it sounds like your idea is different enough from Harry Potter anyway to avoid most criticism.

    Write your book. And keep it to yourself. Don't show the idea around and ask people what they think of it, unless you want to hear people telling you it sounds like a Harry Potter ripoff.

    This is one reason we discourage people from asking opinions about plot summaries. None of the opinions you get back mean spit, because the summary is not the story. All you will get is vapid praise, equally vapid "don't bother" comments, and comparisons to other pieces of writing.
     
  3. Aconite
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    Aconite Senior Member

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    Here I am going to make comparisons to other pieces of writing. ;)

    What you describe does not seem Harry Potter-ish to me, but I have only read the first book of Harry Potter (as a teenager, while babysitting) and felt no need to read the others.

    You have many examples of a magical society coexisting with the modern human world--from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere to Charles de Lint's Jack the Giant-Killer series and back again. I've never read an Anita Blake or Sookie Stackhouse book, but they're the same idea, too. You even have it in gaming, with White Wolf's flagship series. What you should do is look at the way some of those books and media have handled their mythology. For instance, de Lint focuses mainly on fairies and Celtic mythology (in Ottawa, Canada), and co-opts legends (like Jack the Giant-Killer) to thread through his books. Gaiman uses the London Underground (and the real people that literally live in that subway) and local legends to frame his book.

    Even if you're working in Fantasy-world, not in the "urban fantasy" genre in the real world, I think you can apply the same rules to your setting: What about your real world (not magical world) setting is unique? If you base it in Fantasy-world California, how will that differ than if you base it in Fantasy-world New York City? What sort of local things can you play on in both areas? What special reason do your magic-users have to hide from the mundanes? That will give your story a less anonymous setting, I think.
     
  4. jettica
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    jettica New Member

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    I don't think there are every any truly unique ideas. Not because you're stealing them but because everything has been done. Just write and see how it goes.

    People will always come along to compare it to everything else. Just make sure you don't draw from other sources like Harry Potter - in fact completely forget about it -and that you put your own spin on it.
     
  5. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Just do it.

    Here's a short paragraph from Northrop Frye's lecture "The Singing School" from the CBC Massey Lectures entitled "The Educated Imagination"

    In other words, just do it.

    I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and even if it does sound like Harry Potter it still sounds good to me. I've been looking for books similar to Harry Potter for a long time.

    P.s. Hopefully I've provided enough information regarding the source of my quote... If not, I am terribly sorry.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You can't let the similarity to known stories stop you from writing. I could tic off half a dozen other stories and franchises that sing to the same tune without really thinking hard, and if I applied myself, I am sure I could come up with a dozen more, and this just from my own reading experience. Who knows how many other stories are out there in print that are similar which I have never read and thus could not include on my lengthy list.

    *deep breath*

    You can't let that stop you. Can't, can't can't.
     
  7. Garfiun
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    Garfiun Member

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    Thanks for the help and i'm not going to publish it but I would like to distribute it on the internet, hopefully freely. I started writing properly in June 2006 and the first novel I started writing wasnt far off this idea, all the comments came back saying the same thing "Harry Potter Rip Off" that really put me off and I just stopped then.

    But now im bouncing back and ill just write and as said before ill put harry potter out of my mind while writing it.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Cecil
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    Cecil Member

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    If the summary is vague enough, every fantasy sounds like The Lord of the Rings, every contemporary fantasy sounds like Harry Potter, every sci-fi fantasy sounds like star wars, etc.

    It looks like you've already been convinced, but I wanted to throw this out there for future reference. You can throw your plot summery at a thousand people and get "Harry Potter rip-off" from all of them, but if you write the whole thing and people start reading it, you probably won't get anything worse than "Hey, this reminds me of Harry Potter." Of course, some people will call rip-off on anything. Those people just haven't been reading enough to know that similarities are inevitable. There are people who assume that every vampire-human romance story is a Twilight rip-off, so yeah.
     
  9. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Every single idea you come up with has been done before - it is your interpretation of the idea that is unique. Start writing and see where it leads.
     
  10. Garfiun
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    Garfiun Member

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    Thanks again and I will not be put off this time, I write becasue I want to write, if people read it and like it thats a bonus, if people dont thats up to them, unless ofcourse they give constructive criticism.

    Only after you lot saying that what I have got will inevitably sound like HP and that in itself will sound similar to something else, but its me as the writer that will turn it into something completely different.
     

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