1. Want2Write
    Offline

    Want2Write Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    United Kingdom

    I am worried whether my plot might be considered as duplicate

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Want2Write, May 31, 2011.

    Hi all,

    I have came across this site every now and then. I am impressed with the support and motivation you guys provide to the budding writers.

    This is my doubt. Whenever I imagine a plot, this thought comes clinging with it - that what if this plot has already been written and released as a book / movie? If that so, readers might think that I copied the plot and re-written in my own words.

    Its next to impossible to be sure that the idea is new, unless and otherwise I am writing an Autobiography. But I wanted to write fiction.

    Please give me your ideas and suggestions in this. Any help is appreciated.

    Thank You
    W2W
     
  2. Reggie
    Offline

    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    USA
    It's not really that crucial as to rather your story takes the same idea of another person’s work. While ideas are not copy written, the expression behind your story theme may be. How you write is what matters. A story concept, as Cogito stated, means nothing anymore. This is one factor as to why ideas are not copyrighted anymore (or if they ever were copyrighted initially). So if you feel that you have to same story theme or idea as someone else, keep in mind that your book may differ from another author’s book, even though your book idea appears to be the same as someone else. This is because you are interpreting your story idea differently from someone else. I have written a movie script whose ideas appeared to be the same as someone else’s movie. The movie, “Limitless,” involves a character with intelligential abilities after he consumed a pill. My movie involves my main character having abilities to do the same when he wears his brother’s angelic sunglasses. The two movies separate from each other based on the purpose or expressions behind the book, and the two movies (mine and the author's) are interpreted differently.

    That's just my opinion on story ideas being identical to another person's ideas. I hope my post partically make sense a little bit.
     
  3. StrangerWithNoName
    Offline

    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    the waste lands, somewhere in Europe
    Try to mix the facts, if there's something too similar to famous works try to rewrite them, introduce new characters etc...
     
  4. Want2Write
    Offline

    Want2Write Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Reggie,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Yes that really makes sense. I was worried what if the readers criticize me that I am copycat? This thought lets me down. But I am wrong, I shouldn't worry about that before even starting the project...

    W2W
     
  5. Want2Write
    Offline

    Want2Write Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi StrangerWithNoName,

    Thank you for your reply?

    What you said is ok if I knew that the plot is there already. I am just worrying what if there is one, and I don't know that and after the story has been written, the plot resembles most of the existing work...

    W2W
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?

    So stop worrying whether someone has written your story idea before. Without a doubt, someone has. Write it anyway, and make it yours.
     
  7. SilverWolf0101
    Offline

    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    New York State
    Okay one, I totally swear Cogito copy and pasted his reply from somewhere. Because I am 99.9999% sure I've seen it before in that exact wording.

    Anyways...

    Every idea in the world has been written before. There really is nothing new in the world of writing when it comes to ideas.
    What matters though is how you work that idea.

    If you want to have a chosen boy with a super special scar by all means go ahead. As long as he isn't named Harry Potter, goes to a school for wizards and witches and stuff, I'm sure you will be fine on your ideas.
    If you want to have a super intelligent robot that's got a super special secret program. Go ahead.
    Just change up the story a bit.

    And if someone yells "copy cat" well then there's really nothing that can be done per say. There's always going to be a critic who has to say what's on their mind exactly.

    After all my one friend and I were discussing one of my story ideas, and she told me it reminded her of anime.
    They're not the same of course, but they may remind readers of another story.

    Like everyone said though, every idea has been done. It's just how you write the story that counts on if it's a copy or not.
     
  8. WastelandSurvivor
    Offline

    WastelandSurvivor Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Cogito has several pre-made responses for all sorts of questions--it saves him lots of time.

    To answer the original question, just write. Other writers won't look down on you if they read your work and it has a similar plot to another story--many stories are that way because, if you think about it, there really isn't anything that someone hasn't already thought of.
     
  9. HBAdams
    Offline

    HBAdams Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I feel your frustration!

    Every time I run a story plot or character idea past my fiance, he says "Oh, so it's like ______ from that movie/book _______?" which makes me want to bang his my head against a wall. Yes, it's all been done before, but it's all about presentation, my dear!
     
  10. NateSean
    Offline

    NateSean Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Salem, Mass
    Oddly enough, L. Ron Hubbard cites that very item in his list of ways to drive a writer insane.
     
  11. StrangerWithNoName
    Offline

    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    the waste lands, somewhere in Europe
    Mmm...no.
     
  12. StrangerWithNoName
    Offline

    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    the waste lands, somewhere in Europe

    Honestly I can't know every novel that has been written in the last three millenia in any part of the world, you can know the main themes or achetypes of plotlines and keep them in mind in order to avoid the clichès of the genre...
     
  13. Jonp
    Offline

    Jonp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    3
    This is why I don't tell people my ideas anymore. The worst I got were when one of my ideas was compared to an episode of an obscure 90's kids TV show. Maybe the basic principle is the same (it's not) but I know for a fact mine will be nothing like it.
     
  14. Want2Write
    Offline

    Want2Write Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Thank you everyone for the detailed reply. That helped me a lot!


    Sorry that was a type... No question mark at the end...
     
  15. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    People will think you copied no matter what you do. But odds are, plenty of people will find it fresh and original too. Unless you blatantly plagiarize, you'll bring a uniqueness to the topic simply because we all have different writing voices.
     
  16. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Cog is absolutely right. Every story concept has been done before. The important part is how you write it.
     

Share This Page