1. Minerva's Wolf
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    Minerva's Wolf New Member

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    Help! All My Ideas Seem To Have Been Used By Someone Else Already

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Minerva's Wolf, Jul 26, 2012.

    Around the beginning of this year, I started reading a really interesting non-fiction book about 11th century Britain, and inspired me to make a fantasy book roughly based on it. I had a whole lot of characters sorted out and rough plot ideas, but then, several months later, after first coming up with the concept, I began watching the Game of Thrones series. I was very dismayed to find that the series had striking similarities to my own idea, even though I'd never even known about Game of Thrones, let alone know they were based on a book series some months later. What do I do?

    I had a concept of a noble family living in the north of the kingdom, were it's very cold and wild (based on the piety kingdom of Northumbria) which now just sounds like a rip off of the Stark family.

    I also thought of a character who was a princess in another neighboring country (based on wales), and has a claim to the throne of the other kingdoms, and wants to take it back. She also had a useless brother from whom would ultimately die, leaving her as the heir, and her symbol would be a dragon. But now, that just sounds exactly like Danerys from Game of Thrones.
    Plus, the whole basis of the books would be a long story, spanning many years, of a ruthless political battle between noble families. Sound familiar?

    Should I just ditch the whole idea, or should I keep working on it despite the similarities?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Everything has been written before in some form. It may not be literally true, but it is so close to true as to make no difference.

    So stop worrying about it, and write.
     
  3. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    Intrigue between noble families has been done in many different ways over many years. Considering you're probably not a professional writer the story is very unique. I know of plenty professionals who simply rehash the same ideas over and over. There's kudos for being as imaginative as you can, but I wouldn't worry. If your still unsure you can always throw in some different elements.

    On another note it seems like a series of books on such a topic would take a great deal of time to research as well as write. If your not sure your going to finish I'd try something shorter. Definitely plan the plot out beforehand.
     
  4. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Try to come up with an animal in your head, but it's not allowed to have any attributes from ANYTHING you have ever seen before.

    It's impossible. We can only come upwith something we've seen before, so really, everything we've ever come up with has been used before. You just have to chanege it enoguh so it becomes YOUR work. Not somebody elses.
     
  5. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    Different characters, country, places and plot. Just write it. Similarities are bound to happen with how many novels are out there. We,as writers, just write about it. I have read novels that get published and sound exactly like another novel.
     
  6. Kaidonni
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    Kaidonni Member

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    It's useful to look at the inspiration of some of these stories that are so similar to the one in your head. 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is inspired in part by the Wars of the Roses, where a number of different dynasties fought for the English throne in the late 15th century. You mentioned you were inspired by a book on the 11th century (which narrows it down to time period, but not kingdom/empire/tsardom/principality/etc), and something that comes to mind immediately is William the Conqueror's invasion of England and the defeat of Harold of Wessex by the Norman forces - William invaded because Edward the Confessor supposedly promised him the throne of England, and then Harold who had sworn oathes to uphold William's claim decided to have himself crowned as King of England.

    Later, in the 12th century, we have the Anarchy, a period between 1135-1154 in which Matilda, the sole surviving daughter of King Henry I, was locked in a battle for the English throne with Stephen of Blois. Henry I was one of William the Conqueror's sons (his youngest), and Stephen of Blois was one of William's grandsons (through the marriage of William's daughter Adela and another Stephen of Blois). We also have Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons (Richard the Lionheart and John), and she did all she could to procure the throne for her sons against her husband, Henry II (including open revolt against her husband).

    Jump to the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. In 1189, William II (also known as William the Good) died without any heir to the throne. His aunt, Constance, a daughter of Roger II of Sicily, was married to the Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich VI (Hohenstaufen). Heinrich saw Sicily and southern Italy as his by right of his wife, and also for his son, Frederick (II). But, alas, the Norman lords of Sicily voted the illegitimate son of Roger of Capua (one of Roger II's sons) the king of Sicily, which led to trouble. Later on in the early 13th century, the Holy Roman Emperor Otto Welf was planning to march on Sicily and claim it from Frederick. Frederick later on had trouble with the Pope and the Angevins, culminating in the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in 1266 with Frederick's illegitimate son, Manfred, being slain in battle by the Angevin forces.

    Simply put, battles for the throne are not lacking in history. Don't worry too much about copying dynastic struggles. :)
     
  7. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    Your perceptions and perspectives are uniquely your own. So, although an idea may have been used before, your characters, the way they interact, their way of dealing with crises will be also be unique. Add to that your own sentence structure, word choices, rhythm; the story will become wholly yours. Just write and enjoy it purely for its own sake.
     
  8. Saul-hudson
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    Saul-hudson New Member

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    I wouldn’t worry too much about this – unless you’re directly garnering something from books like The Game of thrones.


    I had a similar concern over a story I wanted to write down until about a week ago when I really sat and thought about it. The idea came from something I read on the net about latent (psychic) powers and that immediately set the writing gears in motion. But this left me with one huge concern: the character was in high school, she was bullied and tortured, and there had to be a huge ending. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so, too, it sounds a lot like *sigh* Stephen King’s Carrie, right?

    Well that’s where the similarities end. The only way I could have made it a carbon copy of Stephen Kings book would to include my own take on Journal entries, a prom, and a religious mother to brutalise her daughter.

    The story in so much as its setting is similar, granted, but everything else is simply real life – the meek are always apt to get bullied in school, that’s a given fact of life.


    But Inkyliddlefingers is right in the comment. So long as the story is your own and garners nothing from the game of thrones, then, so far as your story and plot goes, you should be fine.

    Your style and rhythm make it your own.
     
  9. Nightchaser
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    Nightchaser Member

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    I've found that when it comes to fantasy ... specifically epic fantasy ... there is no way to come up with an entire novel of completely 100% original ideas. Just write you book and then worry about how similar it is to others while editing, that way you can change little details to make it original.
     
  10. ThievingSix
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    ThievingSix Member

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    For me it doesn't matter, nothing in game of thrones is original material really. Write it how you want to write it. Someone recently told me about the seven stories that are told and retold

    So come up with your own spin, and don't be too concerned with what others write unless you find yourself following the plot of a story you've seen before.
     
  11. Tolsof
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    Tolsof Member

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    Everything has already been written... The trick is to make it different in some way to intrigue the reader to keep reading.
    Things like interesting names or words that you came up for something, the way it was written i.e. timeline stream of conscientiousness... Things like that are what makes books different not the basic story line.
     
  12. Quinn T. Senchel
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    Quinn T. Senchel Member

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    Keep at it. I can't tell you how many similarities exist between LOTR and the Inheritance Cycle yet both are published works that people thoroughly enjoy. LOTR isn't even completely original, it was inspired by classics such as Beowulf and mythologies from various nations such as Greece, Persia, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, ect. The trick is to make it your own. To be honest, I started reading the Game of Thrones recently and I don't care much for it as far as fantasy novels go because it just isn't my taste. He's an excellent writer but there's something about it that I find dull.
     
  13. abby75
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    abby75 Member

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    I don't think you should give up on it at all, it's inevitable that different writer's ideas will have similar ideas. We all get our inspiration from somewhere but your take on the subject will be very different from anyone else's so I wouldn't worry about it.
     

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