1. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Too much like "Twilight"?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by wicked_poppies, May 2, 2011.

    I need help. I have a story in the works, and almost my entire plot is complete. However, my problem is that my story has vampires in it. I like my plot, but my god I’m sick to death of vampires right now. Yes, I’ve made my vampires different from other people’s versions, but now I’m not sure if it’s enough. Also, I’m worried that my story is too similar in formula to “Twilight”. Let me just begin by saying that my story is not about teens, but rather young adults. I do plan on having a romantic subplot between a human girl and a male vampire. My story begins with my main character (who is 20) coming to live with her grandmother who lives in a retirement home in a small town in Kentucky. Obviously this is similar to how twilight begins, with the main female character returning to a place she visited as a child to live with a family member. I didn’t make the situation similar on purpose; it kind of just worked out that way. I want my main character, whose name is Clair, to return to a town she is somewhat familiar, but still not know a lot about the local history or people. Her grandmother is a minor but important character in the story, and it just made sense that the reason Clair would chose to move to a small town in KY would be because her grandmother already lived there. I have Clair moving into a large ante bellum retirement home with her grandmother. I know that’s weird, but it’s integral to my plot that Clair live there because it’s where she meets the vampire of my story, Oliver, who is a night nurse who works at the retirement home. Clair also meets other secondary characters there that progress the plot. Also, the retirement home is ideal, because while Clair has access to her grandmother whenever it’s important to the plot, it also allows her grandmother to fade into the background easily if I need her to not be around. Another feature the retirement home provides is that people can come and go from the house without suspicion because they could be visiting someone, and that is important to my plot as well. Anyways, only the beginning is really the concern about being too much like Twilight, because the rest of my story is completely different. My story involves a lot of actual history of the town my story occurs. The main plot revolves around Clair discovering evidence from the past that indicates that Oliver is older much older than he claims. Also prominent in my story are murders happening around the area, and the old library where Clair gets a job. The relationship between Oliver and Clair is a big part of the story, but also the mystery of who the killer is, and the mystery of Oliver’s past and how that plays into the killings and his relationship with Clair. I do plan on having Oliver mention other vampires when it comes to the point for him to explain to Clair how vampires in my universe function, but I don’t intend for my story to be mainly about vampires. I would remove that aspect, but it’s integral to my story. I’m also determined to make the relationships in my story blossom realistically over time rather than having two people meet and the next second be “unconditionally irrevocably in love”.
    So my question is should I head back to the drawing board, or do you think it’s possible for me to make this story unique and strong despite the overdone vampire romance thing? Is my beginning too much like twilight, or is it ok in its current formula?
     
  2. Jayyy1014
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    Jayyy1014 Jerrica Contributor

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    ^^Kentucky Is a totally awesome pick :) and well, If you mix it up and make it seem different than twilight than no. There is tons of movies with vampires involving love so don't worry about it. But that is just my opinion :) Hope it works out for ya.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Hmm...normally, I see all romance-oriented vampires as Twilightesque, but as long as you have a strong heroine, your story sounds like one I'd read. I only loathe Twilight so much because of the blatant sexism and the doormat female protag who sets the notion of empowered women back a good 50+ years.
     
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  4. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Well, I’m mainly only concerned about the beginning being too similar to Twilight, only because I know that none of my characters or plot is anything else like twilight beyond the vampire romance aspect, and even that is different. My version of vampires is different from twilight’s, and also I want to make the romantic relationship aspect more realistic in length and in depth. Bella loves Edward because he’s a vampire and he’s pretty. The whole Twilight series is about Edward protecting Bella, and Bella being his pet basically. In my story, the romantic aspect is there, but it’s not the main driving factor of the plot. Just so you know, I’m not basing my story off of twilight in any way, and believe it or not I had this idea before I read twilight. However the similarities are there weather I like it or not, and to ignore them would be stupid because someone will notice eventually. Given you guys feedback though, I think that just because the beginning draws a few parallels doesn’t mean my story cant rise from twilights ashes.
     
  5. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There were vampires before Twilight, so I wouldn't worry.

    Go with it. It sounds like an atmospheric story.
     
  6. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    I'm a little confused about how a girl could live with her grandmother in a retirement home. Aren't those places a little exclusive? Is there some sort of rule about who is in the retirement home? Or is this more like a retirement community kind of deal? Does she have to move in with her grandmother because her parents have died or something? Otherwise, I can't imagine why parents would just shove off this young lady to go hang out in a retirement community.

    I'm assuming, though, that you've already given this question some thought. Are you sure you resolved the motivations/reasons/connections sufficiently? (I get that the setting is ultimately important to your plot, which is cool. I think that there just needs to be a solid explanation as to why she's there.)
     
  7. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    I'm writing a story that involves a vampire, too - vampires seem to be very "en vogue" right now. I don't think your novel sounds too Twilight-esque, though. As long as you put a fresh spin on the ol' vampire story that's all that matters :D
     
  8. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    I don’t know where Clair’s parents are, but they’re not important to the story. I’m thinking about saying that they died when Clair was 19, so she moved in with her grandmother for a month when her grandmother still lived in her own home. Then Clair decided she wanted to go to Nashville and make it on her own. I’m thinking about making Clair 22 in current day, and saying she lost her job in Nashville recently so her grandmother invited her to move back and live with her at the retirement home. The reason Clair is moving is because her grandmother told her that she would pay for Clair a place to live, so Clair could work and save money for a while. I’m having Clair’s grandmother get her a job at the local library, which is also important. I made it possible for her to live there my making her grandmother friends with the retirement home director. I’m going to say that the retirement home has an extra empty room that they used for nurses who lived on site, but right now it’s empty. Clair’s grandmother persuades her friend, the director that letting Clair live there would be a good deal for them both. Clair’s grandmother would pay for Clair to live there, so the retirement home would be bringing in extra money from an otherwise unused room. So, how’s that? Does that sound plausible? I don’t need it to be likely, just possible. Lol Let me know what you guys think……
     
  9. lexievelyn8179
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    lexievelyn8179 New Member

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    If it's a smaller town, then the idea of Clair's grandmother being able to get her a job at the library and be friends with the retirement home director is very believable. I'm from a small town myself, and everyone really do know each other. Now, make sure it isn't too small of a small town if you go that route because explaining why Oliver doesn't look much different would be difficult.
     
  10. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    This. Remember, there was Anne Rice's series, and before that, tons more, to Dracula and beyond. So don't sweat it- just write it the way the story wants to be told!
     
  11. 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?

    So bottom line, don't worry if it resembles Twiblight (not a typo). Just worry whether it isw well written.
     
  12. Jayyy1014
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    Jayyy1014 Jerrica Contributor

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    Yes, I live in a very small town.. In Kentucky! How ironic :) Lol, But it is very believable, And you should go for it!! :)
     
  13. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Vampires are never a problem. Love vampires, want more of them.

    It's a start. Worry about it being "enough" when you shop it around.

    Doctor, it hurts when I do this. So don't do it. Worry that is.

    Let me tell you a story about a little orange striped cat who loves to terrorize his family and the neighbors. He eats like a hoover and he also hates dogs.

    Am I talking about Garfield or Heathcliffe? Heck, you know what other comic strip uses a talking cat and a talking dog, both living with a cartoonist? Get Fuzzy.

    Do you see where I'm going with this? If the syndicated comic strip industry can get away with reproducing the same basic concept but still making it fresh enough in my mind that I respect Garfield as the One True Cat, and Heathcliffe as the first movie my mom ever took me too, then vampire writers have the same leeway.

    On a sidenote, however, it would be nice to see a plot between a boy and girl vampire where they had absolutely no romantic interest in one another. Girls and boys can still be friends without getting together.

    I echo the response from a previous poster. Is it a retirement community? Because I know a woman who owns a house in one of those and it would be more believable if that were the case.

    On the otherhand, I once stayed with a woman who lived in a housing facility that wasn't quite an assisted living facility, but it did provide certain services to the residents.

    If the girl is in her twenties than the parents question is moot. She's an adult and can live wherever she chooses. So it's not like the case with Bella where she's a minor stuck between a rock and sparkly place. And in my area there's a program called Shared Living, where people live with elderly roommates either rent free or at a reduced rate in exchange for doing a few house chores and such.

    I once wrote a story about a vampire named James who wanted to be in a rock band. Only in my day the dominating vampire writer was Anne Rice and The Vampire Lestat had me beaten by a decade. Oh well.

    Once again, I would question the use of the words "retirement home", because it makes me think of a state run facility that elderly people live in because they can no longer function entirely on their own.

    And if Clair is familiar with this place, I don't know of many retirement homes that would become familiar to family members too quickly. My mother works at a home in Vermont and while it's a nice facility it's definitely more clinical than homey.

    Again, perhaps Clair could just be there to help her grandmother. It's not unheard of to have family members helping out with their relatives and in fact most nursing homes (the good ones anyway) encourage it.

    Clair could be visiting for the summer and staying at a motel. Or maybe the house is more of an apartment facility with visiting nurses, etc. I'm not trying to write the story for you, I'm just trying to open you up to more believable concepts to pull this off.

    Actually, for the safety of the residents, a retirement home that allowed visitors would be pretty secure in doing so. In the home my mother works at there are patiens who literally wake up every day not knowing where they are. They can get violent too.

    Then you have patients who would look you in the eye and swear you were their grandchild. Someone very malicious could take advantage of this. It's why nursing homes usually have security features, or security personel. Even the relatively independant facilities.

    Seriously, if you're going to use a nursing home for any reason as the focal point of your story, you will want to do as much research as possible. Even volunteering at a retirement home would do you a world of good in seeing how things are run there. Plus, the people who live there like it when people willingly spend time with them. (Speaking from experience. I used to visit a woman who was bedridden and pretty much a one a good chunk of the time. Which sucked because she was very "with it". I would never wish that on anyone.)
     
  14. Bluvapor
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    Bluvapor Member

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    I have a vampire story i'm writing as well and i think its something that happens to all of us. We tend to think of twilight when we think of vampires now, but remember vampires can fit any mold you put them in; and you don't have to be afraid to be too similar to something else, because in the long run everyone's guilty of copying one trend or another. It just so happens twilight's the hot trend. But i'm sure you'll differentiate it enough to make it you're own. That's what i tell myself every day when i'm writing my story, because if i don't it will never get finished.
     
  15. wicked_poppies
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    You all have some great points about the “retirement home”…. As I mentioned before (at least I think I did), The library Clair is going to work at and the place I want Clair to live are actually real places in my home town…… The place I want her to live is called the “Lewis Memorial House”, and I even have a link to their website……. http://lewismemorial.org/
    The bottom line is that I need Clair to live there, so I’m probably going to have to use creative license and make the place in my story not an actual retirement home, but something else that will better accommodate my plot. I love the large ante bellum home and the beautiful grounds as a backdrop for my story. However, I understand what you’re saying, and I agree with your points that if I want my story to be as realistic as possible, I need to make Clair’s living situation possible in some other way. On the website for the place, it clearly says that it’s only for people over 55. I thought that I could just use creative license but I see now that it would be a stretch. Right now I’m researching ways that Clair could somewhat realistically live at this place, in the main building.
     
  16. Bluvapor
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    Bluvapor Member

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    I'D MAKE CLAIRE LIVE IN HER GRANDMAS OLD MANOR BUT AT THE SAME TIME HAVE HER WORK AT THE RETIREMENT HOME. THAT WAY IN FUTURE SCENES SHE AND YOUR MAIN VAMPIRE CHARACTER CAN HAVE SOME ALONE TIME TO DEVELOP OUT SIDE THE MAIN ENVIROMENT OF “retirement home” THAT WAY YOU GET RID OF THE PROBLEM OF FINDING A WAY TO FIT HER IN WITH OUT MAKING IT FEEL SHOEHORNED INTO THE PLOT. JUST AN IDEA.
     
  17. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Well, admitedly it's an odd situation, but it is unique. Also, I wouldent call it an impossible situation, just a highly unlkiely one. In "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", he lives as a child in a nursing home. Of course that might not seem so weird in that story given that it was overshadowed by him aging backwards, but still..... So yes, it's odd, and I'm working on a solution, but even as it is, it isnt the most impossible thing in the world. LOl
     
  18. Bluvapor
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    Bluvapor Member

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    If you really like the idea of her living at the retirement homethen i suggest not putting to much enfasis as to why she lives there because even in the real world rules are mean to be broken, if you know people in high places thats all that matters. By having the grandma know the guy running the place is enough info to warrant claire being there. Its not too much of a strech.besides the idea of there being a vampire working the nightshift, while claire living there brings about a lot of cool oportunities for the story to branch out and be unique. I say dont change it. Its a very intresting concept that i myself would like to read.
     
  19. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Thanks! I 'm not saying that I dont agree with everyone about the strangness of the living situation, because I do.... and i'm still looking for a another way to make the sutuation more realistic..... but like I said before, it is important to me to have her live there, in that place, and it also be a place that a bunch of older people live too.... It's important to my plot, and I belive it give the situation a unique aspect. I have toyed with the idea of making her grandmother younger, and making her actualy the owner/operator of the home, and then it would be a little more plausable that clair could live there.... I'll just have to give the matter some thought.
     
  20. Bluvapor
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    Bluvapor Member

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    wow that sounds much better i can see that working a lot since now it pretty much answers all the living questions that came about due to the retirement home concept. if you do it that way i think it would make for an intresting character for the grandma as well.
     
  21. wicked_poppies
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    wicked_poppies Member

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    Well, during the climax of my story something happens to the grandmother that makes her more interesting, and if I ever get this story turned into a book, and I wrote a sequal, it would feature her more. But I'm WAY ahead of myself..... lol... But it's nice to dream.... Anyways, yeah, I may go that route (where the grandmother owns the home).....
     

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