1. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    Has this story already been used?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bradosia, Mar 17, 2011.

    I'm writing a story for a manga or anime and I'm not sure if this idea has already been used before or if its too cliche. Please tell me if this story is similar to another book or film. Please give me a specific title of a book or film this resembles and what part of it does it resemble.

    Im looking for a response such as:
    "This story sounds a little like Kino's Journey. I remember a part were she woke up in a destroyed city just like this"
    Please don't tell me this has been done before. I know that. I'm looking for a specific book or film so I can research it and find out how they pulled it off.

    Title: Radon
    Genre: Alternate Earth/Action/Fantasy
    Summary: A 17-year old boy wakes up in a rundown apartment. The room is a small box with wooden floorboards and a ceiling with holes that the light shines through. The only furniture is the bed with white covers that the boy is laying on and a nightstand next to it. The boy wakes up with a massive headache and an absence of any memories leading up to where he is or why he is here. The only memories he has are shown in flashbacks throughout the story of his childhood. He remembers living in the room all his life reading books. One day his father placed a band on the boy's head and told him that now he will be able to write his own stories. The boy fell asleep on the bed and escaped to an fake reality he can't remember. Now he has awoken but can't remember his name. On the band on his head is inscribed the word "Radon" which he takes as his name. (It's actually not his real name). When he attempts to get out of bed he falls and realizes he hasn't used his limbs for a very long time. In the apartment he finds a skeleton on a chair next to a desk. The desk has a gun that the skeleton clings to. (he later finds out this is his father who suicided). He later finds out he is in a deserted and decaying city surrounded by a vast desert. He sets off into the desert and the story is based off his journey to find out what happened. He finds out later that the city was one of the Noble cities named after one of the noble gases, "Radon". Through his travels he he journeys to the other Noble Cities and finds out that Radon was afflicted by a plague that spread through moisture. The other Noble cities gassed Argon with a gas that absorbed water and dehydrated the city and the surrounding area which is why the city is barren and surrounded by a desert. He also finds out that he and his father were the one in a million to have a mutation that led them to be water independent. The character Radon is unable to cry or sweat due to his condition but he was able to resist the cities dehydration. Radon also develops from a shy and weak character to a strong and leader-like one. He becomes a sharp-shooter and in smaller events fights off bandits and others.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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

    There's no benefit in 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 What is Plot Creation and Development?
     
  3. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    I Just read this same thing you wrote like 50 other places on this forum. This is definitely a copy and paste response you just gave me, but I'll ignore the uselessness of the response's contribution to this thread and tell you what I am looking for.

    I'm honestly looking for people to tell me "it sounds like a ripoff of... ____" so i can research the stories that are similar to this and differentiate it. Heres an example of a response I'm looking for:
    "This story sounds like a little like Kino's Journey. I remember a part were she woke up in a destroyed city just like this"

    And concept of a story means a lot when targeting an audience and potential popularity of the story = $.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's a template because the same kind of question comes up often. The point is, stop worrying about it and write.
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    tl;dr
    You shouldn't ignore him because, sorry to say. He really is right.
    Everything has been done before. no matter what you do, your story will have things similar to other stories.
    Yes, no matter what you do.
    You pick them all out but either, your story will be plain or just uninteresting.
    If the idea strikes you, write!
     
  6. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    Let me clarify the question I was asking because this is totally deviating from what I asked.

    You all are responding as if I asked "Is this related to another story?"
    Of course it is.

    But what I was asking is the specific book or story this is related to in plot so I can research the similarities and see how they developed the story.
     
  7. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    why are you guys picking on me.

    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=39420

    this guy is asking about his plot too, but you guys don't seem to be spamming him with "it's already been taken" messages.
     
  8. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Sorry if it came off as picking on you...o_o
    Reading it now, it doesn't sound like anything I've heard...
    Is this a summary of what happens or the plot..?
     
  9. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    Bradosia, allow me to attempt to clear up what they are trying to tell you, and perhaps clear up what you are attempting to get out of this thread.

    What you are asking for, essentially, is leads for research. You want to know what stories have similar concepts so that you can read them and do what you can to avoid some of the things that make those stories unique so that you can make your own unique points. Is that a fair assessment?

    What Cogito and Younique are trying to tell you is that everything has been thought of before, so if you look long enough you will actually kill every idea you had, even if it was a good one, because you are trying so hard to be unique. Is that a fair estimation of what you two were trying to convey?

    So, essentially, you should not be too concerned about finding and reading all of the stories that are similar to yours because you will probably end up having to scrap your entire idea if you look long enough. Just write your story with your own ideas and I can assure you that you will have a unique story without having to try so hard. Perhaps after you have written your story you can seek out similar works to compare so that you can avoid something that may have become cliche in that style, but I'm almost positive that you will find your story to be unique enough at that point that it won't be necessary to scrap the entirety of it.
     
  10. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    Its a summary of what is suppose to happen in the story and the development that is suppose to take place over the story.
    It gives you the setting and circumstances: boy who does not know his origins
    the drive: to find out what happened to this city
    the development: weak boy turns into strong gunman
    and the final outcome: dehydration gas destroyed his city.

    thanks for reading it. It's kind of confusing how I worded it. I apologize for that.
     
  11. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    Yes perfect assessment. I'm looking for leads to research. But no one has any so far so this brings me closer to be confident that this won't seem like a rip-off at a quick glance.
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't read or heard of stories quite like that, so just in concept form it already seems quite unique to me (Kino's journey seems to be the closest I can think of, and obviously you agree). Perhaps fantasy stories that revolves around traveling is what you should be looking at? Such as lotr. However, depending on how you write it, it can still be full of clishes and unoriginality. The character's personality is the most important thing about making a story stand out imo. Even the most overdone consept can make an awesome story in the end, depending on the characters and how well it is written.
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    But lots of people have told you that it doesn't matter, which is what you should really be taking away from this.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    1) Boy who does not know his origins:
    Oliver Twist Charles Dickens, The Guardians by John Christopher, not a book but Captain Jack Harkness is missing two years of his life.

    2) weak boy turns into strong gunman
    The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall,

    3) Entire city gassed/destroyed
    Not a book but Halabja comes to mind, Pompeii, Hiroshima etc So any stories about that.
     
  15. Bradosia
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    Bradosia New Member

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    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Just the response i wanted.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thats OK it's not a very good list I may come up with more - I get what you are doing. My stories have their origins in other places and when I need inspiration and ideas it helps to turn to them. Torchwood Children of the Earth helped me with my current work.

    My new one I know a TV show called Blackpool and one called Thin Blue Line have some of the elements I am after.

    Robinson Crusoe and Holy Willie's Prayer (Burns) helped with one of my stories etc
     
  17. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    The movie Dark City came to mind a little...if only for the 'feel'...the Matrix for the dealing with atrophy, and in that vein 28 days later...i also had flashes of
    Conan if you can believe that...
     
  18. ceberon
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    ceberon New Member

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    I'd be much more concerned about a big name book coming up as a duplicate than some small time indie publisher who may have a similar book (I'm assuming you would be as well). So if you mentioned that you were thinking about writing a book about a boy wizard who didn't even know magic existed until he found out he was a wizard.. we'd probably need to tell you something.

    As things are, it sounds like no one knows of a book close enough to sound like a ripoff, so you should be good to go. The concept itself sounds interesting. I would suggest making sure you have an end goal in mind for the character. It sounded at first like he may find out relatively quickly why his city was gassed, so he'll need a new driving force.
     
  19. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Something that is cliche is that one in a million person who is immune to something or has special powers. It doesn't mean you can't pull it off, but it is cliche.
     
  20. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    Never-mind, clearly not what the OP wanted, but no way to completely delete a post once it's posted


    "A TV series about a motley group of people stranded on an island. The encounter lots of bizarre situations, and find their attempts to leave the island mysteriously thwarted".

    Now, was I talking about "Lost" or "Gilligan's Island"?

    And have you ever heard anyone complain that "Lost" was just a rip-off of "Gilligan's Island" for using the same basic concept?

    Your story is highly unlikely to come of as "just a rip-off" of a story you're unfamiliar with :). Researching similar stories might actually be deleterious to your goal, since it could subconsciously make your writing more like what you are researching.
     
  21. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The OP is looking for research material not pete and repeat to get working on the usual standard replies. He is looking to be able to read and learn.
     
  22. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    There are only 7 basic plots, quit stalling ,get writing
     
  23. Momo
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    Momo Member

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    This reply has nothing to do with the original post (sorry :love:) but more to do with the replies it has received. I don't understand how difficult it is for people who claim to show interest in writing to simply READ a post and determine what the OP is asking for. The OP is not asking for constructive criticism on their abilities to begin writing. They are not asking for how many basic plots there are. The OP did not ask for opinions on when they should begin writing and they are not asking for permission to write this concept.

    The OP's request is really quite simple. Here, I'll provide it in bold:

    Please tell me if this story is similar to another book or film. Please give me a specific title of a book or film this resembles and what part of it does it resemble.

    I understand the desire to provide a template response or to use direct and blunt sentences stating a completely random fact that has nothing to do with the OP's original request... (There are only 7 basic plots, quit stalling ,get writing). You want to help the OP. I get that. However, you are not helping them by using a reply that has been used in hundreds of other threads. You are not helping someone by stating a random fact and not addressing their concerns.

    I suggest that everyone who feels the need to reply to a post of this nature actually READS the entire original post. Then, you speak directly to the OP and address their questions or concerns. A very helpful "tell" for whether or not you should reply to a thread could perhaps be that you have something of value to offer the OP in direct response to their questions and concerns. Which are, again:

    Please tell me if this story is similar to another book or film. Please give me a specific title of a book or film this resembles and what part of it does it resemble.

    They are not asking for permission to write.

    :love:
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Momo, your assumption is not well-founded. I did read the post, as I read all posts before I respond to them.

    I just happen to believe I am doing no one a favor if I do not speak out when, in my opinion, they are asking the wrong question.

    They are, of course, free to ignore my opinion.
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Momo I absolutely agree, but this is the difference between telling stories and writing - when I was newish on the site I posted asking about elements of my story. I wanted to know were they considered a fantasy cliche. I got the standard useless reply I had read before. The standard plot creation response did not even answer my question - I wanted to know what people perceived as a fantasy cliche.

    Fortunately others weren't put off by it (although I do think it did intially put off some posters) - I got some amazing responses to my questions. Although i read fantasy it is of the classic literature variety mostly (Five Children and It, Waterbabies etc) I did not know what were current trends.

    I have actually printed off the responses in the thread that answered my question. They still aid me and have been the single most important turning point in my ability to tell a fantasy story well. I was able to take out all of what I discovered were actually lazy plot devices like my prophecy (that hurt I had a very visual painting lol), my legends (again my painted dome taking that out hurt lol) Having people point me towards books or shows or events that provided inspiration for these elements all helped.

    This is one area where I think it doesn't hurt to be polite and actually answer the questions because it might just be the one post where bouncing the idea around works.
     

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