1. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    it sounds the same

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Heather Louise, Aug 28, 2007.

    i know it is probably a daft question but here it goes.

    i am in the middle of writing a novel which is based on magic and kids learning how to use it. the problem is i am terrified of it sounding like Harry Potter. i mean, i have wrote the first six or seven chapters and so far it sounds quite similar. i kow that when it gets into the plot of the story everything completely changes, i just am trying really hard to avoid the first part of the book sounding copied, because it is not.

    i mean, do you think that someone can do children learning magic at a school now without it sounding like Harry Potter. it is an idea i have had for years, before i started even reading Harry Potter, you know like a childhood dream i used to have, but now i cannot help but feel like i am copying. do you think i should just write it and see how it turns out or what??

    Heather
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think that there will always be some comparisons and similarlity because of the popularity of Harry Potter, but I don't think that prevents any other writer from attempting the subject. For example, JRR Tolkein's Lord Of the Rings series is very well read, but authors such as Stephen Donaldson have still had success along similar lines.

    So if you see what I'm trying to say, you shouldn't ignore an idea simply because it might bare some superficial similarities to another story. If it's your own original work, then don't let it bother you.
     
  3. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks darling, that's what i needed to hear. :) i think I'm just gunna write it and see what it turns out like 'cos for a start off i am really enjoying writing this peice.
    thanks darling,
    Heather
     
  4. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Just write it.
    Once its done you can revise the first part if your still unhappy with it. But first get it done so you aren't constantly revising the first few chapters before you get to the goods.
     
  5. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    The only original ideas were the ones that history gives us as stories. They are so weird that no-one would believe them as fact.

    Write it, just write it, after all, isn't going to school like an apprenticeship when it comes to magic?
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    To be honest heather, I'm actually in the middle of a similar problem myself. I'm working on a novel set in the Napoleonic wars, only I'm worried it'll seem too much like a mixture of Pirates of the Caribbean and Master and Commander (the film, not the book). But I'm gonna try anyway, just because the main focus of it is on the characters (and the Royal Navy kicks ass :p)
     
  7. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    I agree. Although you can make a comparison to another piece of work, you should sit down and see where the story takes you.

    Every story is unique. The biggest differences are that (1) the idea is in your head and it will be different from Harry Potter (2) The author is obviously different than the author of the Harry Potter series so that means the writing style will be completely different.

    Look at how many authors have written about majic and children and stuff like that. You expect a certain amount of commonality throughout that genre.

    Just think of how many vampire stories are out there. All with the same basis but completely different stories.
     
  8. thethird_ismine
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    thethird_ismine New Member

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    I'd say, write as much as you want now, don't worry about what others will think. Once you have a basic draft, revise and change parts that might seem awfully similar. When it all comes down to it, as long as it's well "masked" you can't see how similar it might be to HP (or at least not as much).
    Try to give lots of details and depth, that might help clarify that your book(s) are a different from HP.
    Good Luck!!
     
  9. Weaselword
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    Weaselword Banned

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    I'm sorry, Heather, I hate to piss on your fireworks, but...

    I'm a member of a fairly active critique group and a reader of a wide assortment of writing-related sites and blogs, and I have to say, even since Harry Potter, the unpublishedauthorsphere has been absolutely bursting with stories about children going to wizard school.

    I've read countless dozens of them in the past year and I'm definitely suffering from kids-in-wizard-school fatigue.

    If I feel like that, imagine how a slush pile reader would feel about them.
     
  10. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    sorry guys, i had completly forgotton about this thread, lol.

    yea, that was one of my things. i mean, i am a fair bit of the way through reading it but as soon as anyone reads like a synopsis of it or something thet are going to automatically think Harry Potter. i am going to contune writing it anyways as i am having a lot of fun doing it at the moment and i guess that's all that really matters.

    and thanks everyone else for your comments, they mean a lot. :)
    Heather
     
  11. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    I am totally burned out on HP. I belong to another writing forum in which the majority of writers seem to be high school freshmen working on novels about a kid in wizard school. The second favorite plot seems to be about a young character in post apocalyptic war zone.

    I feel that any writing exercise you are doing is building your craft. I wrote a very bad novel way long ago when I was influenced by Anne Rice, about a kid vampire. It was not really publishable, but I learned a lot about what it meant to get up every day and write a sustained piece of fiction. (I got to about 300 pages before realizing it was trash). The experience helped me to go on to the next stage.
     
  12. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    yea i know what you mean. and yea, i have decided that i am going to keep writing and at the end of it decide whether it is crap or worth anything. and even if it is crap at least i had fun writing it and hopefully took something away from it. :)
    Heather
     
  13. Skipdonahue
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    Skipdonahue Member

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    It'd better be damn well written to make it in the shadow of Harry Potter. Perhaps a 1st person perspective to change it up a bit? Make it either really dark or really light. Harry Potter is too nuetral and you might be seen as a copycat.
     
  14. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Hate it when this happens. In fact I just found out my current project is very similar to some comic from Japan (right down to one of the characters being very, very, alike). Now I have this fear of crazy "otaku" telling me I ripped off that comic when I'd never even heard of it 'till today.

    So I dunno how to advise you, I'm in the same boat.


    Oh, and first post, woo!
     
  15. Scavenger
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    Scavenger Senior Member

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    I think no matter what you write, you will always run into problems of originality, even if you've never even heard of the piece you're supposedly copying. Like Weasleword said, after Harry Potter, the kid-magic books are going to be teeming, and you'll have to work really hard to make yours stand out (if it's something you're thinking of publishing). I'd examine it pretty closely, and, honestly, if the main idea is about kids going to school to be wizards, you might want to think about adding something extra in there to make it more unqiue.

    I had the same problem; the novel I'm writing now actually started out as a an idea for a fanfiction piece, until I'd developed it and changed it so much that the only thing left that related to the "fanfiction" genre was the characters' names, which were then subsequently changed. Now, I can confidently say it is entirely my own, with almost no aspects of what it used to be.

    So go for it, but be open to changing it, and always look for new ideas.
     
  16. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Well, for my story the similarities aren't so general as kids in wizarding school (there's tons of details that could make that extremely different from Harry Potter).

    My plot (and it's for a comic so if it sounds over the top, it is) is about a 1920's-50's-esque crime syndicate with certain members having "superpowers" (like a guy able to fight with a sword while most people are using guns or a fellow with regenerative abilities). This other comic is also about oranized crime with characters with "superpowers" (I think there might even be a swordsman). And both stories also have a character that conducts human experiments and has regenerative abilities.

    If "crime sydicate with "superpowers"" was a common idea I'd actually worry less about it and rely on my ability as a writer to make mine unique.
     
  17. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    ^ I have always been under the impression that publishing if it (God willing) happens, will not happen after a first novel anyway. I personally think mine may be too strange to publish, (no one can ever make it into a movie) but It is unique. No one except a nut-case would actually write it.
     
  18. Damian_Rucci
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    Damian_Rucci Member

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    I had a similiar problem with a fantasy story I wrote and some of my friends claimed I ripped off Tolkien by using elfs, orcs, goblins, and dwarves. But I heard from my English teacher that almost all stories out now a day are based on 7 ancient stories.
     
  19. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    @Funny Bunny - Your novel couldn't be made into a movie? That really has me interested in it. I'm (studyin to be) an animator and when I read I usually think of what I'm reading in terms of film/images so a novel that defies that medium sounds interesting and challenging. :D
     
  20. Funny Bunny
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    Funny Bunny Contributing Member

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    Oh no, it couldn't be made into an animated film either, believe me. There are Many people here who have fantasy things. Mine cant be made into a movie because it has too many social taboos-- it is all "live action"
     
  21. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks guys for replying to this, and i am sorry i never replyied sooner, i forgot about this thread. :p i have took a break from writing that at the moment anyways but am hoping i can pick it up again soon and see what i can chagne. :)
    thanks,
    Heather
     
  22. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    New perspectives are what I think we all try to do.

    JK Rowling used a student going through a magic school instead of an apprentice to a single wizard to teach magic, although the seventh book didn't show this so much. I have a few issues I'd like to pick with the author, however that is not my point.

    For example with the sci fi story I am trying to get going it is based loosely on the Anabasis, or march over land. Classical, written by Xenephon, so some time BC. The same idea links the pair of them, the shortest route home is unusable and they take the scenic route to get back home. That's where similarities end due to how I tell the story.

    Balance I have no idea, it is kinda based on rather Norse ideas/mythology of the Apocolyspe, but that's with vampires and other evil creatures thrown in for good measure.

    It's more about the story then the setting really, after all Heather, do you plan on having an immortal bad guy?
     
  23. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    i wasn't planning on it no. :p the story line is completly different, like i said it was just the basic setting really. and even then i have tried ot make that loads different, more like a city and stuff but hey,, i am just gunna see how it turns out. thanks for replying aswell,, means a lot. :)
    Heather
     
  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Lol, we are all writers here, we are allowed to steal ideas :p
    Mr Dan Brown said that.
     
  25. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    did he by nay chance say that after he was being sued for plagurism?? :p did he ever even get sued anyways??
     

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