1. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Is this a cliche or has it been done before?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Corgz, Jun 24, 2012.

    I have a bad habit of choosing very cliched topics or topics in my writing that have been done before
    so i was wondering if anyone could help me with this one, it isn't a plot or anything, just a short run down of something i'm working on.

    So the story is set in the mery middle of Russia where two Autralian men are backpacking around the country on a holiday when a military accident happens. Somehow, and you find out later in the book why, a number of missiles containing a deadly (or not so deadly) toxin misfire from a russian military base near the men and explode in various places around the country. The deadly tonxins within the missiles are released and numerous people become infected and turn into zombies. The two men have to try and escape the country without dying. There are numerous threats along the way including bandits, zombies and the military (I need some idea of why the military would want to kill them if anyone has suggestions comment?).

    So yeah, is that too cliched or like anything else? Or is it just really corny..?

    Advice is welcome :)
     
  2. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    First of all, it'll be very difficult to write an original plot involving zombies, unless you are writing it from the viewpoint of one or more zombies. Basically, zombie plot involves zombies trying to eat brains and the mc(s) trying to escape.

    I think your MCs should be more fearful of the zombies than the millitary. Anyway, if it is the cold war era, and Australia being an ally of the US, the Russians might suspect them as spy whi came to create havoc in their country and may be tgey think the two guys have the cure/antidote for the zombie problem.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    First of all, it'll be very difficult to write an original plot involving zombies, unless you are writing it from the viewpoint of one or more zombies. Basically, zombie plot involves zombies trying to eat brains and the mc(s) trying to escape.

    I think your MCs should be more fearful of the zombies than the millitary. Anyway, if it is the cold war era, and Australia being an ally of the US, the Russians might suspect them as spy whi came to create havoc in their country and may be tgey think the two guys have the cure/antidote for the zombie problem.
     
  4. John Eff
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    John Eff Member

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    A similar premise has been done, and done recently. That was one author's version from his imagination - yours would no doubt differ as you apply your own slant.

    The originality of the storyline takes second place to the originality of your imagination and your ability to put it across.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. What matters is how you write it: the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's absolutely 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?

    Every storyline has been done before, at some level. There is no such thing as a cliche storyline.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Avoid cliches, unless you are using them for ironic effect, but it doesn't matter if the idea has been done before. Personally I find your outline interesting, all apart from the zombie bit. It would be far more original IMO if you kept them as humans who had been injured by the toxins and say, there was a government policy to play down the event so they were being silenced etc etc. Not keen on cop-out zombie/fantasy solutions to complex situations, and it's done far too often.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with Cogito - concepts sound so similiar it's hard to know what the outcome will be - check this out - alien is stranded on earth meets a young boy - E.t you say... well how about Mac and Me and Alf the series - all totally different stories stemming from one concept - two hits, one total flop.
    It's all in the originality you bring to the characters and their goals that will separate you from the pack.
     
  8. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Also, these aren't the type of zombies that waddle really slowly and only eat brains. They're super fast, super strong and in general eat meat, especially human meat.

    Thanks for the cool ideas guys! :)
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Write it.

    That's the first rule of writing. The concept/idea/plot really matters a lot less than people think. What matters is how you write it. Every writer would execute the same "idea" differently, and take it to somewhere slightly different. Also, I'd be very surprised if your final product ends up as you had imagined it. New ideas will occur to you through the writing, steering the story somewhere different to what you had intended at the beginning.
     
  10. Apollo.
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    Apollo. Member

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    Archetypal Stories

    I wouldn't worry about if its been told before or not, its the way you tell it that really matters. When you think about it, there are seven types of story. These are mainly used in plays but have ever increased in modern poetics and literature and widely accepted as the archetypes of basic storytelling. In essence your story would somewhat follow one of these basic forms. Someone may say its been done before, "oh that's been done before". Well, it probably has ... Thats the thing ... Most stories have. It's the way they tell it that makes a real difference. So just tell it your way ;)

    The following archetypal stories can be either one ar a combination of two or more of the following:

    Cinderella - Unrecognised virtue at last recognised. It's the same story as the Tortoise and the Hare. Cinderella doesn't have to be a girl, nor does it even have to be a love story. What is essential is that the good is despised, but is recognised in the end, something that we all want to believe.

    Achilles - The Fatal Flaw, that is the groundwork for practically all classical tragedy, although it can be made comedy too, as in the old standard Aldwych farce. Lennox Robinson's The Whiteheaded Boy is the Fatal Flaw In reverse.

    Faust - The Debt that Must be Paid, the fate that catches up with all of us sooner or later. This is found in all its purity as the chase in O'Neill's The Emperor Jones. And in a completely different mood, what else is the Cherry Orchard?

    Tristan - that standard triangular plot of two women and one man, or two men and one woman. The Constant Nymph, or almost any French farce.

    Circe - The Spider and the Fly. Othello. The Barretts of Wimpole Street, if you want to change the sex. And if you don't believe me about Othello (the real plot of which is not the triangle and only incidentally jealousy) try casting it with a good Desdemona but a poor Iago.

    Romeo and Juliet - Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy either finds or does not find Girl: it doesn't matter which.

    Orpheus - The Gift taken Away. This may take two forms: either the tragedy of the loss itself, as in Juno and the Paycock, or it may be about the search that follows the loss, as in Jason and the Golden Fleece.
     

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