1. bustead
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    bustead Member

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    I am losing motivation

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by bustead, Aug 13, 2015.

    A while ago I started to write my first novel (which is about a large modern military force invading a fantasy world) since I thought that it will be an interesting and unique topic to write. I pushed myself forward and kept writing…until I found a Japanese comic series online (it is called Gate: Thus the JSDF fought there) which's very similar to my novel even though I had no idea of its existence until about a week ago. I am worried that people may see my work as a rip off so part of me want to stop wrting. On the other hand part of me want to keep writting since I am infuriated by the sexist art style and right wing Japanese ideology in the comics and part of me want like to come up with a better product than the comic series.

    What should I do?
     
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  2. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    You don't specify how long ago "awhile ago is," nor how far you are into the writing, nor how "married" you are to this particular story line. Although I do not write in the fantasy genre one thing I would share from my writing experience is that it is important to feel motivated by what you are writing. If seeing a similar plot in these comics has stolen your fire I'd encourage you to regroup. Perhaps you can still use some of what you've written, characters, scenes, etc. in your redeveloped plot. You want to have fire in your belly for your story. Maybe set it aside for a bit and take on something else? Good luck.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I second this notion. While fantasy is the genre where almost all the books sound almost exactly the same (ie, world war, overthrow some evil monarchy/empire, save the world, etcetera ); if you're afraid of ripping off the exact plotline, a re-orientation is in order. Trust me, I know the feeling. I've had to gut out a huge chunk of my original idea from my own fantasy because it was too much of a blend between The Elder Scrolls and Avatar: The Last Airbender (and yes, I'm aware that they're not books.) It was actually pretty painful! Sometimes you just have to make the hard choice.

    That said, a basic concept is just that, a basic concept. Your story may be completely different from the Japanese comic series, namely your story doesn't include the sexism and right-wing ideology the comics have.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's your trouble.

    Recognise that there is nothing unique in writing.

    As long ago as Shakespeare, authors were borrowing, being inspired by, outright plagiarising...

    "Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both"


    It's not so much the story that you tell, but the way that you tell it.
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly. John Green's The Fault in our Stars is basically Romeo and Juliet if the duo lived in modern-day America and had cancer. The basic concept: two lovestruck young adults want to get together, but forces outside their control get in the way and they have to figure out a way around it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Point is, story ideas/concepts mean nothing. To quote Cogito, it's all be done before. What matters is how you interpret those concepts to make it your own.

    That said, are you worried that your story sounds 100% exactly like the Japanese comics?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    there's always gonna be something out there similar to your idea. The key is in how you write it and what you do with it. And frankly as long as readers enjoy it, who on earth really cares? Think Hunger Games being called the rip-off of Battle Royale. Do you think either the author or its fans care?

    Now, if you still love your concept, then keep writing, and stop comparing yourself/your work. Tell the best story you can, that you love, and have fun.
     
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  7. bustead
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    bustead Member

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    Not 100% of course. There are lots of differences between the 2 in fact (eg in the Japanese comics the JSDF is the only fighting force in the fantasy world from Earth but in my novel a UN task force is formed and their goals ranges from simply colonizing the fantasy world to controlling oil supply on Earth. The full plot is here: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/nebie-needs-help.140764/) but I feel that the cores of both of them are a bit too similar with each other (ie they are both about a modern military fighting in a fantasy setting) so I am kind of upset about this.
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Let me give you the core ideas from my stories:
    My fantasy is basically a split between a world war and a coming of age story for my teen MC.

    My sci-fi is basically your typical space-adventure romp.

    My historical mystery is basically a kid detective doing the work of a fully grown, mature adult detective.

    What is the one thing they all have in common? The core ideas have all been done before.

    There's nothing new under the sun as the old saying goes. Don't worry about it that much. :) Core ideas are just that, ideas. They've all be done before, and will continue to be done long after we're gone. What matters is your execution of that concept, how you interpret that concept, how you put your own spin on that concept. Write your story. :) Sounds intriguing enough for me to read it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  9. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar saga is about a fantasy army - with magic - colonizing an Earth-like planet of non-magical humans. Did your Japanese comic rip that off?
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If the plot of your novel is essentially the same as a comic series, then I'd say that your novel lacks depth. Basic ideas can be similar, but, as everyone else has pointed out, it's the execution that matters.

    Just curious. Why did you start writing it? What were you hoping to accomplish?
     
  11. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Drink caffeine, lose your tv remote and block all chat and video sites. After about 2 pots of coffee or a case of Mt. Dew you will be so hyped up you'll be ready to write a freaking epic book.
     
  12. John Calligan
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    John Calligan Member

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    yyyeeessss /gulping Veranda
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If I did that, I'd be quite dead.
     
  14. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    That's just because you are a weakling. :supercheeky:
     
  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That, or I just enjoy my life too much to go out like that. :supercheeky:
     
  16. bustead
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    bustead Member

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    I was trying to quench my own thirst on this. It started a while ago when I came up with one simple question: How would a fighter jet shoot down something small and agile target with a small RCS (radar cross section. Or the detectability an object on radar)? The perfect target for my fighter will be a dragon since it is much more maneuverable (in a very low altitude at least) than a fight jet. This became a need to see an actual scene of that happening. Then I wanted to add some backstory to this fight... You get the picture. Either way the writing became very enjoyable as I am a military nerd and I would like to put my military knowledge into practical use (kind of practical anyway).

    After coming up with an extensive plot (seen here: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/nebie-needs-help.140764/), I started writing until I found that Japanese Comic series. Now I am stuck.
     
  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think you're overthinking this. Remember, at the basic core, everything sounds the same. A world always needs saving, there's always this quest for redemption, an evil overlord/king/emperor/councilor to overthrow. Group A is always invading Group B. Someone's the last of xyz race/group (I think Aang, Goku, and the Doctor should form a 'Last Of Our Kind' support group. :p), some kid protagonist learns how to be a mature adult through some crazy adventure either in the real world or in an imaginary world.

    EDIT: I neglected to mention one thing: sometimes all that I just mentioned above there happens in one story! Avatar: The Last Airbender did, and it was one of the greatest cartoon shows in recent decades. The creators took all those tried and true concepts and injected their own interpretations to create the world of Avatar.

    Just write the story. Remember, The Hunger Games has been accused by critics of blatantly plagiarizing an old Japanese movie Battle Royale (due to similar themes of children fighting in a life-death contest in a dystopian future), but it seemed to have done well-enough on its own, and I doubt the author cares. She even went out on record saying she had never even heard of this film.

    Just write the story. You can always say you were inspired by this Japanese comic, you just took the basic elements of it and put in your own tweaks and interpretations.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
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  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with @Link the Writer - you are definitely overthinking this. Give your story a chance to evolve. As you write, you will find nuances that are only yours - in your characters and in your story possibilities. That's what I meant by lack of depth.

    Good luck with it.

    BTW, Tom Clancy was a military nerd, so you're in good company.
     

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