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  1. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    Is This Idea Too Similar? Suggestions, Please!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by taytay98, Aug 26, 2011.

    Hi y'all.*

    I'm on a few different forums with this topic. I need all the help I can possibly get with this idea.*

    So, as we all know, the Harry Potter era has ended, sadly. If you don't know that, you've been under a rock for a long time.*

    And, I finished reading over the series again, and an idea struck me.*

    I've been plotting it out for a while, and I don't have an ACTUAL plot, yet. Not one that it one hundred percent actual. The one I have is very, very, very rough.*

    So, my idea has a female protag., currently by the name of Layla Martin. She's a wizard, like Harry, orphaned, like Harry, living with relatives, thirteen years old and under great depression. She don't know where she came from, who her parents were, and why she isn't living with them, because she lost her memory from her childhood, and no one will answer her questions.*

    So, during a big part of her depression, she is informed she is a wizard. Now, she don't have to run away with her uncle, she is informed by a teacher at the school (and her soon to behead of house).*

    I have the series planned to be six books. All of this will be a journey of figuring out who she actually is, and defeating the guy who killed her parents.*

    Now, I do have differences not explained up there. For one, she is the captain of her houses dueling team (at first she was a member, but then the captain was injured). Two, there is a whole bunch of teachers in HP that don't have a rip off appearing in my idea. Well, the only teachers that I made my own version are is Snape and a little bit of Dumbledore. Not too much. She don't have a godfather, her fathers friend isn't a werewolf, she is a full blood (her aunt is a 'squib'), her fathers friend didn't abandon them to the bad guy and more and more.*

    Do this, from what you've read, sound too much like it? If you need me to explain more, I will be pleased to, as I'm still developing the plot. Suggestions are appreciated so much.*

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    It is quite similar. Very similar in the sense that the story is one of self-discovery, the main villain killed the protagonist's parents, and that magic is taught to adolescents. There are a select few variances between Layla and Harry, but very few.

    Maybe you should sue JK Rowling.
     
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  3. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    I'd suggest to change the concept to something less HP or Eragon or SW...original ideas always give you more satisfaction!
     
  4. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    You could make it more different from Harry Potter by changing major things that wouldn't draw away from the main plot. A different time period, setting, method of using magic, or a romantic counterpart would distract the reader from thinking, "Wow, this is just like Harry Potter and I've already read those books sixty times."

    Also, is there anything special about this girl (besides that she's a wizard of course) that make her a likelier hero? In Harry Potter, Harry was "the boy who lived." Does her attitude and personality make her the underdog who rises above the rest despite what people tell her? Is she gifted with extraordinary natural talent that would help her conquer her enemy? Has some supernatural force been pushing her along to face her destiny and fate?

    These are just some things to think about, and I hope this helps somewhat!
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's 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?
     
  6. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I've been starting to regard Cogito's auto posts in certain threads as something unavoidable and something that we must put up with and mostly ignore(since we've read it all before). It's like graffiti, you know? Except the hooligan only defaces ugly walls and writes in exactly why it's ugly and what you should do to improve the damn wall.

    Anyway, yes, it's very similar, but if you travelled back in time and presented this idea, you would be accused of ripping off Magician. Travel further back, and Tolkien would be screamed into your ears.

    No matter where you are, there's always some popular fantasy writer whose work everyone mimics.

    I suggest go on with it.
     
  7. AllThingsMagical
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    AllThingsMagical Member

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    Eragon was essentially a fantasy version of star wars but loads of people still read and loved it. That said if you are worried your story is too much like HP then change a few things about it until you're completely happy with it.

    Most writers nick ideas off each other all the time - there seems to be very few original ideas floating about. JKR borrowed a lot of her ideas from mythology and Tolkien. I think the key is not to copy whole storylines and just change a few details.

    Either way though I would say write it if you're happy with the idea but if you don't really like the concept then why waste the time.

    Also is a female wizard not just called a witch? :)
     
  8. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! The more the better :) Hahah
     
  9. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    A well written rip-off is still a rip-off no matter how good the writer is.
     
  10. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    This question is a bit pointless unfortunately. You've told us the similarities it shares with Harry Potter, and the aspects of Harry Potter it doesn't include, but aside from her being the head of her dueling team you haven't told us what in your story makes it different.

    Be careful about writing something that so strikingly resembles the most popular fantasy series of all time. Unless you present it in a unique way, the concept itself could peg you as an amateur writer. Think, if a twelve-year-old, who's entire reading repertoire comprises all of seven Harry Potter books, were to decide to write a book, what would they write about? A child who discovers they're a wizard and gets invited to a wizarding school. I'm not suggesting that you are said twelve-year-old, but it's something to keep in mind.

    You must decide what integral elements makes your book different. So far you haven't included anything of the sort.
     
  11. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Um... a lot of people are flagging up problems with the close similarity to Harry Potter, but are you all willing to conveniently ignore the blatent similarities between Harry Potter and Star Wars? Rowling's idea certainly wasn't an original one. And it's not the only example.

    Remember, George R R Martin's epic "A Song Of Ice And Fire" is based on the War of the Roses which occured in England centuries ago at the start of the Tudor reign.

    Harry Potter has borrowed more than a few plot devices from the New Testament, including Rowling's audacity to actually have Harry sacrifice himself and then be resurrected in the final book.

    Dune was based on a revolution from history as well, though I forget which one. I'm going to say American. The Russian revolution inspired Animal Farm.

    In short, borrowing events from history is one of the best ways of establishing a story's plot. What makes it a good story from there is how you choose to tell it.
     
  12. AltonReed
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    AltonReed Active Member

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    It does sound very similar.

    No idea what you could change to make it more unique, but I wouldn't start writing yet.
     
  13. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just write it. :) Producing thinly-veiled fan fiction is something many writers go through, before settling into their own stride with something more unique to themselves. You may as well practice - if you don't stumble on another idea more personal to yourself then maybe as you write the story will evolve and turn away from its roots to something a bit more you. :)

    Better than sitting around worrying and not writing anything at all as you try to come up with ideas.
     
  14. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Which ones? I don't remember Voldemort being HP's secret father...
     
  15. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    OK, here goes... Just delete as appropriate.

    Harry / Luke is just an ordinary boy living with his aunt and uncle. He doesn't know what happened to his real parents. Life is pretty dull until one day, Hagrid / R2-D2 arrives with a message that changes everything. He is convinced to leave home and set out to fulfill his destiny.

    Along the way, he befriends Ron & Hermione / Han & Leia to help him on his quest, and discovers that he has an inherent gift for becoming an outstanding Quidditch player / Jedi knight.

    He is guided in his training to become a wizard / Jedi by a powerful mentor named Dumbledore / Obi-wan Kenobi. Unfortunately, his mentor is killed at the behest of the evil Voldemort / Darth Vader.

    As the story progresses, Harry / Luke discovers that he shares a close connection with Voldemort / Vader, and in order to defeat him must sacrifice a part of himself.

    Following several dramatic battles with wands / lightsabers, Harry / Luke is victorious.

    The story is so compelling that it is turned into a film with a grand orchestral score written by John Williams.

    ...

    Anyone else care to tell me that Harry Potter and Star Wars don't share similarities?
     
  16. taytay98
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    taytay98 Member

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    I don't plan on writing it now. I have a feeling it's going to take long while to plan out, and I'm just going to wait, you know. Haha
     
  17. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    1)Luke is in his late teens while Harry is a child who needs a good school. Both are orphans but in one case the uncles are nice farmers and in the othey they are a couple of A-holes. Plus Luke doesn't have a bullying cousin.

    2)Harry doesn't have any quest or special mission besides attending a school for "special" children. Hermione is not revelead to be his secret sister, tough.

    3)Dumbledore is not Harry's personal trainer, as a matter of fact, his unpersonal trainers are the teachers of the "special" school. Luke is a "special" boy but doesn't attend any "special" school because his father burned it several decades ago. Oh, Dumbledore is not killed by Voldermort BTW...

    4)Luke doesn't sacrifice any part of himself to defeat Darth, actually he loses an hand because his opponent beats him while Voldy is not capable to beat Harry, no matter how loser Harry is.

    5)Harry defeats Voldy and Luke Darth, but Luke's real adversary is not Darth but the Emperor, he is defeated by the Sith Lord but his father sacrifices himself to save him and kill Palpatine.

    You haven't convinced me that HP is a rip off of SW for the moment, and I claim victory in this magic duel.:cool:
     

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