1. Travito
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    Travito New Member

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    To read or not to read?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Travito, Jan 19, 2012.

    Hey there, first post. I have a question that I need an answer to before I really start getting into the down and dirty writing of my novel, so any insight is much appreciated. I don't want to give any details as to protect my idea, so bear with me :p So I have this idea for a science fiction novel, and I have a very good, although rough outline of the entire story. There is another novel series that has become very popular, and it has a kinda, similar premise, but not really, only one aspect, to the idea that I have for my book. Everything else except for this one premise is different, as far as I know. At first I thought it would be best to avoid reading this series so I didn't get any ideas that I might subconsciously weave into my novel, and if there were any really close similarities (and if I ever do get published), then I could say that I have never read those books and it was purely coincidental. Then I started thinking about actually reading the novel(s) and how the more you read, the better writer you become, as well as if I did read the series, then I could intentionally avoid similarities while writing my novel. So my question is, what should I do? Read these books or not? The last thing I want is someone claiming I ripped off these books, since I've been developing this novel idea for quite some time, long before I found out about these books, but their rising popularity has put me in this position. Any help at all would be great. Thanks

    Travito
     
  2. Jared King
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    Jared King Member

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    Tough question. If you want to avoid similarities between your books, you will probably have to avoid reading them. However, since you've already got a rough outline of the story even if you do read them I don't think any similiarities will be anything more then superficial at worst, providing you stay true to your own story. Essentially I'm saying you can't go wrong either way.
     
  3. Travito
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    Travito New Member

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    Thanks Jared, that definitely helps. In favor in reading the series, I could learn things from that author and use it improve my style and techniques for the type of novel I want to write.
     
  4. isnotgood
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    isnotgood New Member

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    Well, first of all welcome to the forum. I am new here too as you can see.

    I think that you must read the series but even if you stole some ideas from the other author you can convert it to your way. No one will blame you, and i have an example for you. See the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. They both are from two authors the same time which they were best friends in real life also. The two medieval fantasy novel series are quite the same (magical words, orcs, beasts, heroes, a world is in danger etc) but no one has blame them for cheating each other, and that happens because both of those are quite interesting and keep the reader in action (well in his mind).
     
  5. isnotgood
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    isnotgood New Member

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    If you make your story or book or novel that much interesting and great and to has some personal and unique issues then you are in a good way to never be accuses of cheating.

    Remember that everyone has stole something from some other and that to write some great you need to take ideas from other authos, or actually to have some idols that you must and have to follow.
     
  6. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    I had a similar problem when I realised that the basic plan of my story is similar to a very famous novel, now film, too. However, not every detail in your book will be the same, which makes it original in it's own way. The characters will have different and unique personalities, the setting will be different and the dialogue... bla bla bla. You get the picture. It's the tiny details that make it different and the way it's written.

    If it was up to me, I might not read the books as the Author's writing style may rub off on your book a bit which takes away the originality. You might read they've written a similar scene to your own, and think 'wow, I should have wrote that scene like they did' which will be the start of the problems.

    Then again, I'm the kind of person who reads a great book and wants to write like the Author immediately :) Otherwise, if you're sure their writing style won't rub off on your writing, then go ahead and read :)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in any business, it's necessary to check out the competition, if you want to be a success... this applies just as much to the business of writing, as to any other... if not more so!
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Of course you should read them; as you should read as widely, and as often as possible if you wish to improve as a writer.
     
  9. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    If you're really worried about being accused of copying I wouldn't read them. Maybe its just me but whenever I read a book then write after I subconsciously write how the author does. So you will seem like you copied him even more than you already will. But I would read them anyway for research. Spy on the enemy, find out whats so popular about his books and make yours better.
     
  10. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    If I read something and realize it is similar to something I have written or am planning on writing it makes my mind work harder to give it a different twist. Usually that twist is better than what I had orginally planned. So read away and then make you mind work out the similarities to your advantage.
     
  11. stvn
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    stvn New Member

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    In your situation, I wouldn't read it. If you must read it, maybe read something else in between that and when you start your novel so the other one is not so fresh in your mind?
     
  12. Terok
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    Terok Member

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    I think that you should definitely read it. Or you might end up like Suzanne Collins, with The Hunger Games. And just rewrite someone else’s work.
     
  13. pinkgiraffe
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    pinkgiraffe Member

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    I would read it, because I think that being well-informed helps in almost all situations. But make sure you write down your plan or outline for your own story before you start reading, that way your original thoughts won't be pushed out of your mind by what you've just read.
     

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