1. cragcrusher
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    cragcrusher New Member

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    Im Having Trouble With Not Using Ideas From Other books.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by cragcrusher, Jun 12, 2015.

    I am writing a book and am finding myself using plot ideas and worldbuilding concepts etc. used in other similar books. Any techniques you have on staying original?
     
  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    You'll probably want to be more specific in your OP since to some extent, nothing is original; it will also let the forum know how best to remedy the issue.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Put other books away for a while when you are writing. I don't have this particular issue, but I do sometimes find myself writing in the "voice" of other writers when I'm too deep into something that I'm reading. I don't realize there and then, but when I've given my work a cooling-off period and then go back to it, I can see where the change takes place. *shrug* Just something you need to know about yourself in order to avoid it. When I'm writing, I don't read.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I get ideas from other books, but then I write something else from the idea. And once I was worried the symbolism I used was too close to another piece then my son pointed out that same symbolism was common in lots of work, so I decided to keep it. :p
     
  5. cragcrusher
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    cragcrusher New Member

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    Yes, I could feel that coming. I have been trying to avoid too much reading for that purpose but its a hard thing to do. It's i disciplinary action I guess... Thanks for the reply!
     
  6. cragcrusher
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    cragcrusher New Member

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    Yeah, I do that as well, however I am finding myself getting ideas from, as an example, Mistborn, where a band of thieves with magic powers get together to battle against something, and then changing that idea to something like Harry Potter, where a kid with powers has his protector die and then finds a band of tyrants.... Anyway, IT'S A TRAP!!!! Thank you for your response!
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    An example for me is I've read two recent books where the characters have a lot of introspection with strong emotions. I upped the emotions and introspection with my own character after reading the two books.
     
  8. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you ever find yourself "copying" a specific source so closely that you feel uncomfortable, spend a few minutes - or hours - looking for elements the source story that you can tell yourself that you don't like (and why you don't like them), then look for connections between the parts you like enough to copy and the parts you don't like.

    * If you can't find any connections, look up reviews of the story to see if anybody else has

    * If you find a connection between something you don't like + something you almost copied, but afterwards you can't think of a way to break the connection, then you won't want to copy the "good" part anymore because you've just learned something bad about it that you hadn't noticed before.

    * If you find a connection between something you don't like + something you almost copied, but you think of a way to use the part you like in a way that specifically fixes the part you don't like, then you've just made that part better than it had been in the original ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  9. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    To beat a dead horse....It's not about what you write, but how you write it. I can think of numerous novels published within the same year with the same plot, but different styles. I would not worry about drawing on anything directly, unless you start copying things verbatim. If you find your voice is becoming too reminiscent of a certain author you've been reading, mix it up. Start reading a separate genre. Or if you read mostly Americans, start reading Brits etc. Just branch out. Diversify what you're taking in.
     
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  10. cragcrusher
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    cragcrusher New Member

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    Thank you!! This has helped me a lot, great input!
     
  11. cragcrusher
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    cragcrusher New Member

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    Thanks! That is a good idea as opposed to not reading at all. I will try to use this!
     
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  12. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    What's the phrase; "good writers borrow, great writers steal"?

    You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a plot idea that hasn't been used by somebody, somewhere - but generally speaking a reader isn't expecting you to. JK Rowling isn't the first person to write a story about a school for witches and wizards, nor the tenth, nor the hundredth - and by no means will she be the last.

    What matters is your execution of it - blend something old with something new and see what happens, put your own particular spin on the concept.
     
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