1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Using the same idea in two different stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, Nov 28, 2015.

    I've had an idea for a short story for about a year now. It's been on the back burner because of the novel I'm working on. But essentially, it follows a girl who can mildly control the elements. In her world, there are piece of jewelry that contain the power of the elements, granting the wearer the ability to control them.

    Now, in my current WIP, I've realized using jewelry in this way could prove helpful to my story. However, I don't want to scrap the original story, because a longer plot is starting to form, and I think it could be really interesting.

    So I think you can see where this question is going. Should I cut the magical jewelry from one of my stories? Or is it not a big deal to have a similar concept in two different stories? Thanks!
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    You could use the same concept - why not. I thought there were a few sci-fi writers that did this. And even Nabokov wrote the Enchanter and Lolita. Two similar ideas. But still two entirely different stories each with their own merits.
     
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  3. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    I don't see the problem at all. In fact, I rather enjoy it when an author I like reuses ideas (or characters, settings, plot points, whatever) in a different way in another work. It's interesting to see all the directions they can take the same idea in.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would think that this is probably pretty common, in truth. Larry Niven gave us both the Ringworld and also the Smoke Ring, and it's pretty clear that not only the eponymous physical structures are sourced from a similar starting point, but that he engages other similar concepts in the respective stories, just in different ways. Octavia Butler used the starting point of symbiosis in several of her works and series (Clay's Ark, Blood Child, the Xenogenesis series), and Clive Barker is famed for his fantasies where whole worlds are hidden inside unassuming objects.

    I can easily see the the want to explore an idea in a different direction once a given direction has come to its conclusion, to take the paths you didn't take before and see where they lead instead. :)
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, thanks guys! :D Not the response I was expecting. lol

    I'm glad to know how many others use the same idea in multiple works, because I personally have never seen it before. I'll have to research some of the books you mentioned and see how different they are. Because I'm a little concerned my idea might not be different enough between the two stories. But then again, who cares? :p

    Thanks again! Now I don't have to change anything!
     
  6. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Not a big deal, in my opinion.

    As long as the two stories are adequately different.

    I'd compare it to various superhero movies, where the superpower is derived from one source.
     

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