1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    How to make this original?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dagolas, May 8, 2012.

    So a sub-plot(?) of my book is that (no number yet) swords were created for the different races of (the world of my story). One of the masters went corrupted blah blah blah...

    I know what you are all thinking by now: "swords=rings corrupted dude mentioned=Sauron". That is exactly the point, I just can't see how to make this part original...?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't bother. Just write well.
     
  3. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    True, I suppose Paolini got away with "Eldest" Eh? Rip-off of star wars.
     
  4. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    LOL that's true.

    I wrote a short story that I thought was very original, and the first person who read it told me it was exactly like a greek myth written 1,400 years ago.

    If you want to write something truly original you have to write a story about vampires on a spaceship, and the spaceship has to be haunted... wait... believe it or not that's already been done before. Do you see where I'm going here?
     
  5. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    If you personally are questioning the premise as being trite, shouldn't that tell you something?

    Then you have to decide if "fixing it" really solves the gnawing you feel as a writer. Remember, this is 'creative writing.' If you're not being creative, will the exercise truly satisfy you?

    Oh, you could fool us, but in the long run are you fooling yourself?
     
  6. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Actually, I wasn't.

    The artifact of doom is a very widespread trope, Tolkien didn't make it up. And when reading your description, I got the impression that the corrupted dude went evil after getting his sword, whereas Sauron was evil all along. (Or at least long before he made the rings.)

    Basically, I'd say that unless you force it that way, it really doesn't have to be too close to Lord of the Rings from that description. Now if you had the corrupted guy lose his sword and it ends up in the hands of some short people who plan on destroying it, then you'd be ripping off Tolkien.

    Please tell me the name of that story, it sounds cool.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For one, the movie Lifeforce. I'm pretty sure there have been others in film, even within the last decade.

    The point is, it has ALL been done before, to a first or second approximation. Originality is a chimera, or a white whale. You can waste your life hunting it, or you can be productive.

    Real originality lives in the details. My short answer in the earlier post is because the question of originality is a major topic of discussion on the site right now. I really don't like having to repeat myself.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The truth is, if you don't feel that it is original, you're not gonna believe in it. It doesn't matter as much as to whether it is original or not - it matters more that you do not feel that it is, thus you're already questioning it long before you've started writing. My advice is, when the link to someone else's novel is this obvious - in your head, at least - throw in some details/elements that would make it different, or change it altogether.

    For example, I have an idea brewing in the works about a special second-class race with special powers being used as lab rats. Do I know where these ideas come from? Hell yeh. The 2nd class race resembles X-Men (although I wasn't directly inspired by them, I just realised the connection later) and the being tested as lab rats, I know I stole the idea off of Firefly, where River is tested - the scene from the film Serenity especially was where it came from.

    But then, from there, the story is completely different and is unrelated to either Firefly or X-Men. So is it "original"? The premise - not much. But is it mine? Yes. It will always be mine and therefore unique and if I fancy it, I'm gonna write it cus I love the idea.

    So ask yourself, what makes it different to LOTR? And the truth is, if you can't find much that's different, then you gotta throw something into the works or ditch it, because you can't write what you're not excited about.
     
  9. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    First - Lifeforce - awesome!! Have the dvd.

    Next Dagolas, as Cog has said there are few truly new plots under the sun, and if you managed to come up with one the chances are that the story would be unreachable to most readers. People read what they know, and there's a certain comfort in that. Having the rug pulled out fromunder you all the time as a reader, turns a lot of people off. But you can still try turning the story around a bit. So maybe the sword doesn't get corrupted by the bad dude. Maybe, it stands firm against him and the entire plot is about a group of neer do well's out to grab the sword and free their evil overlord, and the other lot want to keep the sword still stuck firmly in his chest.

    Play with it.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  10. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    To me it was how Paolini wrote and set his world up that made it obvious.
     

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