1. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    My Book Is Just Like Another ...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by lustrousonion, Mar 30, 2015.

    So I'm in the middle of writing something that I think is pretty different. Something, I sometimes worry, that is so odd most people will be put off. Then, lo and behold, I pick up a very famous book that I've been avoiding, only to find it has a very similar story. Of course there are big differences (I'm not a famous author, for one), but if you outline the bare bones of these two stories they would be nearly identical. What is that about?

    I'll continue writing, but for today at least, a bit of wind has left my sails. Commiseration?
     
  2. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    That seems like an unpleasant coincidence, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Maybe your book will become something entirely different along the way. ;) Plus, there isn't really such a thing as entirely fresh and super-original idea, I guess.
    Just out of curiosity, why were you avoiding to read that famous book? Sounds like an ironic twist.
     
  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Try to do it better than the other author? ;)

    Don't worry, it happens. Yours will surely be vastly different when you do it your way.

    Besides, look at the success of Divergent. Some people say it's a Hunger Games knock-off. I'm sure the young authoress of Divergent doesn't give a shit 'cause she's probably rolling in money right now. Haters gonna hate.
     
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  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Don't worry, that seems to happen to me at every turn. I came up with a script treatment for a cave diving movie, and then a month later The Cave goes into production followed with The Descent and a myriad of other cave movies. Then I came up with a story about a lone hiker that gets his leg trapped and we follow his video diary as he fights for survival. I even shot a short version of it, but before I could secure financing 127 hours came out. Then I pitched an idea to a friend about 3 people stuck in a lift, and I learned about the upcoming Devil. I discussed making a film set in a phonebooth for the entire film, and then Phonebooth went into production as I started my script. And I just found out Birdman was set in a theatre and is a single shot. I found out while I was pitching the same idea having not seen the film yet.

    Sigh. This is but the curse of the creative arts.

    Just write it.
     
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  5. peterhill160
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    peterhill160 New Member

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    If I tasked ten people to write a book about a wizard who went off to school only to be confronted by a dark lord, I can guarantee you, each story would be different.
     
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  6. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I think there is a book called 'kill your friends' which when I read it, seemed like a rip off of american psycho, but I still enjoyed it, and they also felt different. My main theme for my novel is very fashionable at the moment in Hollywood, and I have to hold my breath every time a new film comes out, due to the fear that it 'might' be the same as my idea. Thankfully, every time I watch one of these films, I find they steered the story in a completely different way to me (and I still think my way is the best). So I would not worry about similarities, after all most books have a main character, or a love interest, it doesn't mean that your story can't be heard.
     
  7. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I'd leave out all the quidditch filler :)
     
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  8. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Empire magazine does not make good bedtime reading ;)
     
  9. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    Yes, I agree with everyone that there's no such thing as an original idea, but isn't timing sometimes weird? @Selbbin, that's super annoying. We're all eating the same stew, I guess.

    @Ivana , I've been avoiding the author because his writing style irks me. But I've never finished one of his books, so I thought I'd give it one last go.
     
  10. peterhill160
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    peterhill160 New Member

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    Hehe sorry good point.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Every time I hear about a book I think might be like mine I worry. I think it's a natural feeling. So far none of them have turned out to be similar except with some theme threads. Just how similar is the other book?
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    In a way, all of our stories are similar, we're just writing it out in a different way. Just call it an homage/tribute and you'll be OK.


    I think.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You know, there's even a very old horror movie about a person stuck in a phonebooth, and the whole booth was eventually lifted and carried to a warehouse filled with other phonebooths with corpses inside. Think it's Itallian?

    And I gotta ask - is what you wrote really true!? That sounds like the worst luck possible, like it's something you made up :ohno:

    Loved Phone Booth the film btw. Never heard of Devil.
     
  14. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Oh, it's very true. I have an IMDB credit for my hiker film 4 years before 127 hours, so at least I banked that. But I have plenty of other ideas so I'm not too worried. Some ideas I don't like to follow through when I hear of something similar because I don't like being accused of copying. Dredd was written before The Raid, but people accuse it of copying The Raid simply because it was released later. In the end though, ideas are often repeated and it's how you do it that's the most important.
     
  15. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    @GingerCoffee , if the barest facts of Romeo and Juliet are star-crossed lovers who (spoiler!) kill themselves at the end, my book would be maybe one step up from that. Still only the basics, but getting a bit more involved - star-crossed lovers, first he's in love with someone else, a cousin gets involved, and they both die at the end.

    It's not something to really get upset with, but it is a bit irksome when you think you've produced something unusual. I'll definitely keep writing.
     
  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I remember a while back you made a joke about a film about someone with his leg trapped and the conversation obviously went quickly in the direction of 127 hours. I thought you were making a witty joke lol. Anyway wow that sorta sucks. And it sorta goes to show sometimes it's not the idea but the production studio/money behind it - how come we've all heard of 127 hours but no one knows you've made something so similar before it ever came out?
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You do know the movie is a docudrama, right? You must or you wouldn't have thought it was a joke.It was a true story. The real question is did @Selbbin write the screenplay before Aron Ralston cut his arm off?

    I thought the 127 hour thing was a joke in that thread too. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yup yup, I know it's docudrama - though I didn't know the term docudrama till now :D
     
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  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's when the producers take liberties with a documentary. :p
     
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  20. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was me with the 127 hours comment in the other thread, and I said it with no prior knowledge of @Selbbin trying to rip it off. Coincidences abound.
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol. Aha that was you! I must've confused Selbin for a moment there then with my post. But yeah, small world.
     
  22. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Devil. A bunch of disparate characters all get stuck in a lift. They are all sinners and the various reasons are revealed as the story progresses. They are killed off one by one. The person we least suspect to be the devil is the devil. As a pitch it sounds great.

    What actually happened was, a bunch of walking, talking clich├ęs get stuck in a lift. A lot of nonsensical crap happens, including jump scares; regular lights out; a policeman with a quite obvious "hidden" connection to one person in the lift; a walking, talking deliverer of quite laughable exposition; a final pay-off that everyone saw coming. And the person who is obviously the devil, is the devil.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  23. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I am shamelessly taking the best ideas from a book and combining them with my own ideas and writing style to make something better. Why commiserate, when a similarity between your work and another work is nothing to miserate about in the first place? :)
     

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