1. Nethereon
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    Nethereon New Member

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    Is it too over done to be original?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Nethereon, Sep 30, 2014.

    In my story, I have a character who is Therianthropic (not to be mistaken with a lycanthropic character). My magic system is dichotomous, meaning each form has a counter. My female protagonist is only able to use nine of the total 11 forms.

    Her abilities give are confined to physical displays of magic. In other words, her fighting allows her to use her magic. One thing that I have developed is the ability to mix some of the forms of magic, i.e. frostfire. My dilemma stems from her Therianthropic abilities and a Japanese inspired element.

    One of the cultures I have written into my book is highly influenced by Asian cultures. In context to my story, I used a modified version of the Koi fish and the waterfall story to help my other protagonist overcome some of his doubts, using a fox as the proxy for the Koi. My female protagonist would then change into a fox to remind him of the story's moral at the beginning a of big fight scene, but it also shows her mastery over her abilities which she has struggled with until lately.

    The crux of my concerns pertain to me being so deathly afraid of using a nine tailed fox because of how much it has been used thanks to things like Naruto and other forms of media. In Japanese culture, it is a very significant thing, and the way I would be utilizing it would be very different than what I have read about them in lore, but what is everyone else's opinion on the matter?

    I can write this in many other ways. I have plenty of contingencies for this whole fight sequence and I would like to use the fox method, but not at the cost of looking overly cliche.

    Thanks for any help and assistance everyone can provide. I am very new at this and have been struggling with this matter for a couple weeks now. I finally mustered the courage to turn to a community for help and input so I am open to suggestions and insight. Your input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi, welcome to the forum. As a general rule, everything has been overdone (mostly) and good novelists simply write an overdone theme successfully.

    If you need a motivational push, I say go for it. There's enough complexity in your description I doubt you'll have a problem.
     
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  3. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I don't read fantasy and know little of Japanese culture, but my rule of thumb is that if something seems cliched to me, it probably is. In other words, given your experience in that genre, if you ask the question, the answer is most likely yes (which is not to say you can't find a way to make the cliche seem fresh).
     
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  4. Nethereon
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    Nethereon New Member

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    Touche!

    That is a very good point. I've read in places and in writing workshop materials that say a good idea is to try to use some elements that may be familiar to the reader and still unique to the story.

    To be completely honest, this was something that fell into my lap out of nowhere. It kind of just worked out where I could utilize this element without being deliberate or forcing it into the story, which I think would have made it obvious to the read that I was pulling shenanigans. I read and reread my materials to make sure this was something out of the blue, sheer coincidence, and not me pushing it. I've had a few things sort of crop up like this that are turning into unique plot twists that I am really liking. This one, however, has concerned me.

    Thank you for your input. I will keep watching and try it a couple ways and see what happens. Hopefully people will continue to respond and provide awesome feedback! :)
     

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