1. silenttruth
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    silenttruth New Member

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    Help with finding similar story ideas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by silenttruth, Jul 19, 2011.

    Hi everyone,

    I've been considering writing a story about a person and their struggle with a specific vice in their life. I want to personify the vice, but I feel like this has surely been done many times before... although I can't seem to find any good examples of this anywhere.

    The best example I can think of is in "His Dark Materials" trilogy, the author personifies death and allows it to communicate with the main character. I want to do something similar with a specific vice instead of death.

    Does anybody know of any stories where any sort of characteristic or vice is personified (greed, addiction, lust, etc.) so that "it" actually has a voice of its own. I really don't want to completely rewrite what somebody else has already done before if possible.

    Thanks so much for the help!!
     
  2. whitefairy24601
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    whitefairy24601 Member

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    I don't know if this is exactly what you are thinking of- sorry if it's not- but have you heard of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak? The story is narrated by death itself. I am sure there are more and will tell if there is but honestly, what story hasn't been done before? Coming up with a 100 percent original story is hard, but if you put your voice into it and make it your own then don't worry.
    Your story sounds great!! Hope to review part of it.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I can't think of any specific books, either. But make the vice something well-developed and unique. I've read lots of synopsises (synopsi? lol) that involve personification of the seven deadly sins, or of the four natural elements, and that just seems cliche to me.

    Also, is the vice a creature, or a person? If it's a person, start off by just making him/her a friend or a neighborhood newcomer who your MC greets with a plate of brownies and a welcome. Maybe even someone your MC starts dating. But reveal the true nature of the character (vice) slowly, and this will make things more unsettling for readers as they realize what's going on. It's better if it's unpredictable.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't worry about it. A hundred writers can take the same collection of events, and they will write 100 different stories.
     
  5. ena18
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    ena18 Member

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    The first thing that pops into mind (even though it's not a movie) is Requiem for a Dream, which basically shows different vices shaping the very lives of the people that are traumatized by them. Don't worry about it being done before, a writer's style will make stories unique and worth reading in their own right.
     
  6. Word Dancer
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    Word Dancer Member

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    For alcoholism there is The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson. That also got made into a movie.
     
  7. kylos
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    kylos New Member

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    I found it is bad to think about writing something, if you think it is going to be done before by someone else, there has been millions of stories made since we have been able to make them.

    Do not be afraid to make a story which may have elements of other stories, i know mine i am currently working on has elements of the Final Fantasy game in it, but i have tried to make it my own as much as possible, taking tips from other great stories can help you to make a new one which is original and suits you as a person.
     
  8. lightaway
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    lightaway New Member

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    I can't think of any examples, but maybe personify imperfections with your characters? Maybe like each person has a double somewhere in the world that shows to the world the imperfections? I don't know what exactly you're looking for, but I figured I'd suggest something that came to mind when i read your post.
     
  9. James Scarborough
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    James Scarborough Member

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    I agree that you shouldn't worry too much about writing something that's been "done before". Every writer brings his own perspective and style into his work and that's what makes it original and creative.

    I don't recall any specific books where vices are personified but one book I highly recommend, dealing with drug addiction, is Nelson Algren's Man With The Golden Arm, also adapted into a film, albeit not one that followed the book very closely.
     
  10. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    I'm having the same problem. My story has many similarities to Harry Potter.
    Luckily mine is focused on being a romance so hopfully i can shape it enough so that the simalarities arnt too aparent. But its also in a magical world hidden from the human world - but it isnt wizards and witches. Its a new kind of people with powers.
    Its true that Harry Potter did influence me a bit in the creation of the story except ofcourse mine is a romance story and not really focused on an epic battle between light and dark. Only the romance itself, and the exploration of this other kind and their world.
    But its also really difficult to write because i find the relation to HP minipulates me a little cause im always trying to not make it have noticable similarities, and it often halts my creativity.
    This is quite a problem but i guess alot of magical stories will always be compared to HP now.
     
  11. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Maybe you could give each vice a unique personality that fits the vice. Gambling could have a top hat with flashing neons, symbolising casinos, and is always shuffling cards and rolling dice on his hand.

    Smoking could be a burly man covered in tattoos and chain smoking at a rate unseen by man. You could have his face hidden by smoke, but that would seem corny. Maybe a vague "mist" hangs over him.

    Drugs? Perhaps a shady man lurking in the shadows, producing packets of white out of nowhere and displaying it to the MC, shaking it a little then flipping his hand over and ta-da! It's gone.

    Murder could be a skeletal figure with a bowler hat and a ragged coattail, clutching a gory knife in his hand.

    You get the idea.
     
  12. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    Isn't every character a personification of human vice?
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Neil Gaiman's Sandman contains seven personifications of the human condition, including Desire, who's depicted as a slick, handsome, androgynic being who loves to manipulate people through their lusts and desires.
     
  14. demonmr98
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    demonmr98 New Member

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    An anime you can look into with the personification of the 7 Deadly Sins, is Full Metal Alchemist. Just read it's wikipedia page and you'll find out a lot about it.
     
  15. turtlefly
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    turtlefly New Member

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    In his short stories, Haruki Murakami blends the real and the unreal seamlessly. Of course, his devices are often more symbolism than personification, but reading them might give you some ideas. Good luck!
     

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