1. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Inspiration from another book or movie?

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by The95Writer, Feb 4, 2014.

    Can I make a novel (or novella) inspired by another book or a movie? Or related to it somehow?
    I am wondering if it is 'aloud to base another book idea around an already published story or movie released, but of my own perspective.
     
  2. Passero
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    Passero Member

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    Isn't that just Fan Fiction?
     
  3. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Haha, I never new there was an actual term for it. I am new to book categorization.

    • Is it legal?
    • Would I have to not refer or mention characters in the source of inspiration?
    • Can I put at the beginning of the book, 'Inspired by [Insert Name]'?
     
  4. rasmanisar
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    rasmanisar Active Member

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    Bad idea unless you have no aspirations of ever being published. The exception is satirical versions of the same book, but I suspect that's not what you have in mind.
     
  5. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    If it's still in copyright, no.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, inspired by is a very different creature from related to or based on. You're going to have to give us a better picture of which of the three is really in play. My own current work is inspired by a scene in a film, but that's where the similarities end.
     
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  7. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I have gotten a lot of inspiration from other books and movies and even music as well.
     
  8. Passero
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    Passero Member

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    Don't we all draw inspiration from books, movies, everyday events,...?

    How many books were released about a young boy learning to be a wizard after the success of J.K. Rowling? That's all fine.
    If you on the other hand started to make a spin off book telling the story about a classmate of Harry Potter, that's a different thing.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this is a very 'iffy' issue... if you use some of the same characters, any similar scenes, settings, etc., then it could be plagiarism, or copyright infringement, or whatever else applies, that the original author's attorneys want to throw at you...

    to get valid advice, you need to consult a literary attorney, not members of a writing site...
     
  10. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    There have been a good many make overs of classics over the years. Bridget Jones Diary interprets Pride and Prejudice as an example.
     
  11. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    Every week publishers probably get hundreds of stories based on the premise behind Cinderella, which is pretty basic. So no problems if you use the theme and write your own story. Ten writers given the same theme will turn out ten stories that seem completely unrelated because the voice is their own and the situations relate only by theme. Remember, every romance novel is, in essence, boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl. And they comprise more then half the books sold.

    But copying someone else's world? For generations vampires conformed to Beam Stoker's model. And while people read them they were a minor category. But then came Ann Rice, who changed everything and spawned hundreds who wrote versions of her worlds...until True Blood, and Twilight, and...

    The moral? Create your own work with your own characters, based on your own needs and imagination.

    And as for setting the story in another author's world, with the same characters? As noted it's called fan fiction and you don't usually see it available in the bookstores.
     
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  12. Remus Penn
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    Remus Penn Member

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    It depends on what you mean. Do you mean a whole different plot and story inspired by one thing in a book/movie, or a story with the same setting/world/characters as the aforementioned book/movie?

    If it's the first one, it's not a big deal. I got my inspiration for the current series I'm working on by watching The Sword in the Stone. You know that scene where they turn into squirrels and that one lady squirrel has the hots for Arthur? Yeah, that was what inspired me to write a medieval fantasy where thousands of animals were turned into human form to be used as soldiers, but they still had the minds of animals and were basically a failure.

    If it's the second one, that would be classed as fanfiction and it would probably be up to the author/editor/whatever if you could publish it.
     
  13. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    This hugely depends what you mean by inspiration.

    For me, inspiration is something that sparks an idea off in your head, or perhaps encourages you to do something or see something through. That idea or that something could be (and usually is) completely different to what the idea that inspired you was. For example, the novel I'm writing is inspired by two works. The first is the Tunnels series, but the only resemblance that has to my work is the idea of a different world hidden amongst our own. The second is Lord of the Rings but my story has very little resemblance to it at all, LotR just inspired me to go bigger and more ambitious. In this case, it's more than fine and, actually, I think it's very different not to be inspired.

    You seem to be talking more about plagiarism, or taking ideas and themes from other works. Careful. Sparking an idea and taking an idea are two very different things. Using myself as an example, if I were to include in my story a mind controlling piece of jewellery, which the Dark Lord of the story needed to regain his power, I would be moving into the realms of plagiarism and illegalness (technical term).

    So it's good to be inspired, just not good to take ideas. Two very different things.
     
  14. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Unless it's called 50 Shades of Grey. :D
     
  15. hvb
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    hvb Member

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    Hugh Howey always encourages all fan fiction based on his Wool series. These are, as far as I know, all self published on Amazon, but those authors might well go on to bigger and better things.
    I am surprised, as so many people here write sci fi /fantasy, no one has mentioned this series. Wonder if I am the only one here who thought his concept and the development of it is just so brilliant.
    He also promotes himself and his books in his blog which gives people an interesting insight in this author and his works.
    Hetty
     
  16. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    Well, if you use the same "universe" (chars or locations or events) it's a fan fiction. You can do it only for pleasure and writing training, not as a commercial piece.

    I wrote some Star Wars fanfics when I started to write to train my skills. It's funny. It makes your brain has ideas, even it based on something that is already setted.

    My new book was started as a fanfic. I wanted a simple story only to have something to draw as a comic (I tried to be a comic artist, but I'm better with words). But with time it becomes to have it's own voice. From a simple fanfic that was a crossover of The Elders Scroll game series and Perry Rhodan it grow up to a story that is new. I got an entire universe (new chars, locations, situations) from a simple fanfic. It's took an year and half to become at the point where I have the premisses, the chars and the main plot. But I see now that it worths the effort.

    And you can use fanfic to promote yourself (not exactly a good thing, but I know two authors that started as fan fiction writers, and have now a good horde of followers and readers) :)
     
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  17. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Me too. I originally used concepts from Nasu Kinoko's works and then I made my story a thing of my own.
     
  18. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    We all need to get our inspiration somewhere. All you need to worry about is copyright and that kind of stuff. Even the fan fiction community is thriving, if you want to go that far with it. There's nothing wrong with combining different inspiration sources and changing things around quite a bit, though. That's what I do and it works well for me as it allows for more realism, precision, imagination and uniqueness. Just don't jump on the first best idea or try profitting off other people's franchises. But look at how many have copied so much from authors like JRR Tolkien: languages, names, metals, races, maps and character types etc.
     
  19. Carl Magnus
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    Carl Magnus Member

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    You can get inspiration from movies. There will inevitably be a "cross-pollination" of ideas since some themes and ideas will sink into your subconscious. I don't see why "exposing yourself" to ideas from movies is "cheating" as long as you do not plagiarize. There's a difference between inspiration and plagiarism.
     
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  20. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    This is a good point.

    The book I just finished writing was inspired by song lyrics.
    http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_atlanta_rhythm_section/imaginary_lover.html
    I looked at my son and said, "I don't know where they got their imaginary lover, but mine argues with me all the time. I get along great with my imaginary lover's brother though!" Thus, the creative explosion happened and I had three dynamic characters. I started writing as soon as we stopped laughing and this book has been entertaining my entire family ever since.

    I also love Tolkien (who doesn't) and elements of the book were inspired by the line where Gandalf where he says there are 5 wizards, including himself, Saruman, Radagast, and the two blue's, but he's forgotten their names. I have two blue wizards, who can't for the life of them remember the names of the other three. What I don't have are hobbits, dragons, magic rings, gold, etc.
     
  21. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    The two blue wizards seems like more of a tip of the hat than theft. Then again what do I know, I'm only a marine biologist.
     
  22. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    My book's inspired by HST FaLiLV.

    Nowt wrong or illegal in being inspired.
     
  23. AniGa
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    AniGa Member

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    ... why are we suddenly necro-posting this?


    Greets,
    AniGa
     
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  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Because when it comes to general questions - like the one found within the OP - that have validity long after the OP has asked them, we don't care about necro-posting in our forum. It's perfectly fine. More annoying is 9 bajillion individual threads all asking the exact - same - question. :wtf:
     
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  25. Aerisfullofwhimsy
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    Gregory Maguire has made a good living out of being inspired by other works of literature and folk tales. I guess I am parroting others here by saying make sure there's a wide line between inspired and plagiarized. And of course, there is fan fiction, which I can not tell you how large the audience for that would be. Probably large for something like the Hunger Games series, smaller for something very specific like Duck Dynasty erotica.
    Inspired is okay is it like Dante's Inferno "inspired" by the bible but not okay if it's like Denis Leary's "inspired" by Bill Hicks inspired. Ended sentence with the same word it started, writing done for the day:)
     

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