1. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    I have a problem/question about my plot for a fiction story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Zane, Jul 30, 2010.

    Hello writing community. I have a question, about the issue of using similar/equal plots, that were already used for other stories.

    Sometimes, apart from the story that i´m currently writing, I feel the desire, to write an fiction/action/a bit of horror, story type.

    I thought about using a plot, where my main character, is a thief, disguised as a ghost hunter, who makes people believe that their town/house is haunted, and that by paying him, he can wipe out the ghost threat(wich is made by him, and his assistance).

    He was living fine with that "job", untill one day, his travelling leads him into a foggy, little town, where everyone, seems to be really afraid about "something", wich makes him confuse because he never tried to make that town to seem haunted, when one day, he saw one of those "things", wich at first he thought it was a fake, made by some other thief like him, ultill that thing almost killed him. What saved him was a mysterious woman, who he felt in love since the moment he saw her.

    The woman, tells him what she knew about that town, and now, he, her and the assistance need to uncover the mysterious past secrets of the town, to restore peace in the town, but mainly, to save themselves and the town inhabitants.

    That´s the plot. Now, in my opinion the "Main Questions" that might atract readers into read/keep reading my story would be:

    1-What are the criatures that haunt, and why do they do it. Simplifying- What are, the town secrets.

    2-Will they survive that nightmare of a town?

    3 and last [Supposing that he and her survived]-Will they be together, and will he finally find the course for his life, and start earning his money in an honest way?

    *
    Now I thought that I had a good theme to work on. Actually I still do.
    But I remembered the Grim Brothers story. Is it okay to have a fairly similar or equal plot, If I create new characters, and a totally new story, using it?
    Because I don´t want to say, that i´ve used Grim as a reference, because I will not even use it for inspiration, or anything to help me writing. I just remembered that my plot sounded a bit like their´s.
    What do you think about this?

    Also, [In case I decide to keep it, and start writing it], what ideas can you suggest me to make it better?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My plot has similarities in places to other things. But the story is my own. As long as you have your own story its fine. Especially since Grim brothers copyright ran out a little while ago;)
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't worry. Every plot you (or anyone else) can come up with has been used in hundreds of stories before, at least in broad terms. It's the details that make them seem different.

    I think your plot sounds like an excellent base for a novel or manga series. Don't change it just because you are afraid to be similar to the movie.
     
  4. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    To put it gently... those are questions you need to answer. They are the fundamental questions of your story. If anyone but you answers those, then they are not your story. Brainstorm... flesh it out. In the end, there will always be stories that bear resemblances to others. That is the trick. Make it yours, make it original.

    I think we are all ready and willing to help with mechanics and specific details, but you should develop the driving forces of your story. I guarantee, in the end you'll be more connected to it and you'll be proud of what you've done.
     
  5. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    I'll jump in before Cogito posts his "nothing is original" template.

    A person's writing voice can make or break a story. If my friend and I were to both write the same story with the same premise and major plot points, they'd sound different despite similarities. Her characters are slightly more snarky, for example.

    You make the premise original. It's all just in the way you write it.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Don't worry if your basic plot looks like some classic plot. Most plots do. Shakespeare borrowed most, if not all, of his plots from earlier sources. Every writer does. How many boy-meets-girl/boy-loses-girl/boy-gets-girl-back stories have there been? Answer: 88,236,772, as of this morning; that number will have increased by lunchtime.

    What matters is what you do with your plot. How your characters function. How your writing enhances the story.

    Look at painting. How many portraits have been painted? How many landscapes? How many still-lifes? Tons and tons. The style is what counts; the style is where the art is. That's where the individuality of the artist emerges.

    The same is true in writing, at least to an extent. So don't worry if your story looks like a Grimm story. Make it your own by writing it your way.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just write it. Yourself, not by committee.

    Don't ask for permission, or validation. No one can tell you from your outline whether it will be gold or crap. The outline is not the story. How good it will be depends on how well you write it.
     
  8. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    Thank you all, for your good replies!
    I will keep the idea, and start writing it, and i´ll make sure no one will ever remember about "Grim" while they´re reading it[unless if it is to comment"gee it´s so much better than that grim´s brother story].P just kidding :D
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Don't even worry about people recognizing the source of the story. Re-interpreting old stories is an honored tradition in literature. James Joyce based his Ulysses on Homer's Odyssey, and gave that fact away in the title of the novel. John Gardner's novel Grendel is based on the old epic Beowulf, and the title gives it away there, too.
     
  10. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    Yes, but i´m really not basing my story, on Grims, i´m not even a big fan of it.

    Actually what´s really inspiring me, for this type of story, is the Silent Hill game series.

    Just saw one of the movies today, and inspiration keeps increasing. I think i´ll start working on it today
     
  11. nickbedford
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    nickbedford Member

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    I'm currently working on my first sci-fi novel and whilst the story is inherently unique to me, the general idea of it has been done many times before and much of the detail and plot lines could be described as "inspired" rather than completely original.

    Even if a story is unoriginal from a broad point of view, you can never put down a book that is written to engage and capture the reader's interest.

    As Cogito says much of the time "it's not what you write, it's how you write it".
     
  12. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    Yes, you´re all right, but...
    Actually i´d feel kind of bad, if I was interested on writing a story about vampires.
    Since twilight, I think the vampire theme, have gone "out of controll".
    Not too long ago, after the third movie from the twilight series came out, I went to a store, that had a section of books, and i´d say, 60% of them were about vampires, and the rest, was good books, like eragon, the lord of the rings. I honestly think, that those books, are more-deserving of the credit, but who am I to make the difference. I only represent a single costumer.

    Again, I don´t really intend to offend anyone, that likes twilight.
    Everyone is permited to have an opinion, and this is mine, so I respect, those who like/ed it.
     
  13. nickbedford
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    nickbedford Member

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    If you feel your vampire story is not inspired simply by having seen a vampire film and "wanting to do something cool like it", then I would at least try. My "done before" sci-fi story came from somewhere other than inspiration from a recent film (in fact, I'd be dreaming up the whole thing for a long while, with inspiration from many sources) and that's what fuels me.
     

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