1. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Hass it been done before?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Corgz, Aug 4, 2012.

    So I want to write a novel about a boy who is in a horrific car crash. He flies through the window and then wakes up in a huge strange world that he has to fight his way out of. In the end he awakes from a coma and he was dreaming all through it.

    Is this story idea original? Does it have flaws or is it just crappy?
     
  2. Reptile Hazard
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    Reptile Hazard Member

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    I wouldn't worry about whether it has been done before or not, but rather how you would handle the whole "it was a dream" thing. Personally I'd still like the book if the story was engaging enough, regardless of how it ended, but most people seem to hate the whole dream thing.

    But to answer your question: I haven't read any book with the same premise, but I'm sure some variation of it has already been done.
     
  3. Quinn T. Senchel
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    Quinn T. Senchel Member

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    No story is truly original. Even classics take their inspiration from somewhere.
    Worry about putting your own spin on it, crafting it well, and making it engaging.
    'Unoriginality' only becomes problematic when you've directly plagiarizer a story.
     
  4. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Isn't the number one rule of writing (I've heard this before I even started writing lol) that you shouldn't end your story with it just being 'all a dream'
    -shrug- Well, to be honest, it doesn't matter if it's been done or not. Just write it. Everything depends on how you've written it.
     
  5. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Thats the bit i'm uneasy about^ Perhaps if the charcter finds out its a dream half way through and is told if he doesn't get out in time, the plug is pulled and he dies?
     
  6. Quinn T. Senchel
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    Quinn T. Senchel Member

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    I think it'd be better to make the reader aware some how that it is a dream so they don't feel cheated. Perhaps you could have the character being informed that they are dreaming and they try to escape the dream before the plug is pulled. You could have the character trying to solve clues of some sort or fight their way through. You could show happenings outside of his dream state such as a loved one talking to doctors. Just ideas to throw at you.
     
  7. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    You mean do what i just said in the post above?
     
  8. Quinn T. Senchel
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    Quinn T. Senchel Member

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    Yeah. Sorry for confusing you!
    Really do whatever you feel is right.
     
  9. Hettyblue
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    Hettyblue Member

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    Life on Mars a TV series made by the BBC (there is s US version) has a plot where a policeman Sam Tyler, is run over then wakes up in 1974. He spends the series apparently in a coma in the present, while solving crimes in the past and desperately trying to get back home before the plug is pulled!

    There is a great deal of ambiguity regarding what is truly happening. Is it a coma dream? Has he really got to solve crimes before he is 'allowed' to go home?

    So there are obviously similarities here but that doesn't mean you have to avoid the coma plot. It's what you do with it that counts. But I think a certain amount of ambiguity regarding the is it a dream or an alternative reality plot device will give your readers something to ponder after they put the book down. Just a personal preference though :).

    Good luck.
     
  10. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    The plot is vaguely similar to "Sixth Sense", and "Sucker Punch" both films that deal with the character being in a world that's not real. And have them waking up/realising something's not right.

    Every story you can think off has probably been done before, just do it your way and add your own spin to it.
     
  11. djunamod
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    djunamod New Member

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    Just curious... is there a reason why it has to be "it's all a dream" for an ending? The story without that sounds pretty interesting to me (as a sci-fi story). I'm not sure I really see a reason to do an "it's all a dream" ending. If it's central to the story, maybe. But it doesn't sound as if it really is.

    Djuna
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Corgz, how long have you been a member here?

    There is no such thing as an original story idea. If you wait for one, you'll never write anything.
     
  13. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Your novel idea sounds like a good, solid concept to me. I can't really think of another story off the top of my head that has done exactly this.

    If you make the dream/coma world interesting, it could be a winner...

    Good luck!
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's been done time and time again, with minor variations... read cog's comment and remember it...

    the 'it was just a dream' ending is so trite/cliche that agents' and publishers' eyes roll when they see it done yet again... that doesn't mean you can't do it, just that you'd have to do it so well that it can overcome the 'amateur's cop-out' label...
     
  15. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    "The Others" starring Nicole Kidman is another movie that takes a similar approach. I really liked the movie and the ending worked well (I thought) but what works in a film and what works in a story might be different. I have at other times felt cheated when I found out that it was "all a dream."
     
  16. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    If you ever saw the movie, The Sandlot, Heading Home, you'll probablly find that the idea has been done before. That doesn't mean that you can't make your story refreshing though.
     
  17. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    There was actually a Canadian t.v. series called the Oyssesy - which featured this idea.
     
  18. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Life on mars and sucker punch were the two of three ideas I merged to form this one, I think i've done it enough to be comepletely different. (The third one was Alice In Wonderland 2)
    I've never heard of the others, and the last time I hd an idea, it was the EXACT same as a very popular movie (28 days later).

    It was awkward.
     
  19. abby75
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    abby75 Member

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    There is a film called 'Paperhouse' where the main character is a child who after an illness becomes comatose and is stuck in a weird fantasy, it sounds similar to the idea you've outlined but that doesn't mean you shoudn't write it. I think the idea of 'in the end he wakes up and it turns out he was dreaming' is a bit lame if I'm honest..much better to have him struggling to escape from the fantasy world and make his eventual return to reality a triumphant conclusion to the story.
    Also, you should read The Talisman by Stephen King/Peter Straub. It's a great example of how to portray a parallel universe. I think you'll like it, it's an amazing story.
     
  20. scribbledhopes
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    scribbledhopes Member

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    I always looked at it like cooking. You have eggs, butter, sugar, ect.. All the pieces of stories you ever read and became lodged in your mind.

    It's what you bake with it that counts.

    Sometimes chili is the popular food of the week. Then you end up with variations because it's hot. (think of all the vampire novels lately)

    People get tired of them and complain that others are not being original.

    I think there is someone out there who wants just one more... Mabye you will catch their eye. I know when I am looking for a new book, there is often a style I am usually looking to get my hands on. Why? Because I just read a book that was great, but it ended. Now I want something that matches the design because my taste buds aren't satisfied yet.

    I had this thing awhile back where I had a taste for "the end of the world" concept. I found some great ones to sink my teeth into. Now I am drifting toward mystery a bit. I want writers who will get into a groove for me. I don't need a bunch of original ideas, I want patterns and I want to be entertained. I don't mind seeing something I wasn't expecting. Just know I am going to the bookstore with a list. Mabye your story is on it and when I find it I will scoop it up.

    I find readers shop by taste, not originality.

    That's my two pennies. Dave..
     
  21. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    I believe the hugely popular TV series LOST ended with the "it was just a dream" resolution. A death dream.
     
  22. mickaneso
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    mickaneso Member

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    Actually only the mirror world in the 6th season happened after they died. The other stuff that happened on the island was all real.

    The reason I think "it was all a dream" is such a big failure is because people love a sense of progress. They like to be taken on the journey. So when it turns out to be all a dream all progress is lost and you're back at the beginning with nothing ever having developed. It's unsatisfying to the reader.
     
  23. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I believe you just described Iain Banks' 'The Bridge', except the main character is older in that novel.

    But as others have said, nothing is original, it's all how you do it. From what I remember, Banks' novel worked because the fantasy elements are obvious from the start, the world he's in is clearly surreal so there's no great surprise at the end.
     
  24. jakomocha
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    jakomocha New Member

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    Nothing is completely original. What matters more in your story is how well it is written and how good the story is. If someone writes a book that has been done before multiple times but writes it so well and makes it better than most of the other books similar to it then it is still an excellent book. I would be more worried about the ending you are writing. Unless the world is haunted or something people would probably not like the, "It's all a dream" ending. If you can write that well and in a mostly non-disappointing way then go ahead!
     
  25. jkell88
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    jkell88 New Member

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    I agree with what many have already said in that I wouldn't worry if it has been written before. Personally speaking if I were to judge on your description, it is definitely something I would read! This may sound a bit cliche but in my opinion originality isn't born within the bones of a story, but in the manner in which it is written, and brought to life. For instance, if you just google "book about a young wizard" or "two lovers meet but are torn apart by fate or family" I'm sure that more than just Harry Potter or Romeo and Juliet would appear. I say if it is something that sparks your interest and something you want to write than go for it! :)
     

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