1. othman
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    othman Member

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    writing short stories that used triffids?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by othman, Jan 5, 2009.

    I was reading "The day of the triffids" a few weeks ago and I can't get the idea of triffids out of my head, I mean plants that may or may not be intelligent and can walk around and have stingers...then almost everyone becomes blind and so makes humans equal, if not inferior, to triffids. And as this is a worldwide occurance so many stories could be written, but as there is already a sequel (by a different author) I was wondering whether it would be spat on to try and make short stories that used John Wyndham's idea...
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    spat on?... don't know if anyone would get that personal [;-)], but you could be at risk of being a plagiarist, if you used too much of his material... the sequel could have been published with the permission of wyndham's estate, since his copyright would still be in effect...

    you should consult a literary attorney before fiddling with something that's become a modern classic...
     
  3. mehrlicht
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    mehrlicht New Member

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    I feel like the plot material is pretty specific for people to not draw parallels between your work and Wyndham's. Why not try a variation on a theme of triffid? Perhaps instead of plants, use cats (cf. Andre Norton) or something?
     
  4. Hetroclite
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    Hetroclite Member

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    That would be plagerism. What you can do is create stories with plant-like beings as the antagonists but without calling them Triffids or matching Triffid descriptions. I've seen many such stories. You're a writer, so you're creative. Take the Triffids, add on so many of your own ideas until they're unrecogizable as Triffids, create a different name for them, then start writing, without the risk of plagerism.
     
  5. othman
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    othman Member

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    Okay, cool, thanks guys. I'll do that...as in the writing the stories that I've been thinking of but I'll change the plants a little or else I'm quite happy to give royalties...I always hope more than I ought to as I've never even bothered to attempt to get anything published...but I'll probably do something that used triffids or likewise and get it published by 2012...hehe.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not a matter of paying royalties... that doesn't apply to copyright infringement... and since the author is no longer with us, he can't agree to be paid off to have his work ripped off...
     
  7. Mello
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    Mello Member

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    i'm not really sure if this would be such a good idea, as you'd be basically writing in another author's world, and there's no way that wouldn't seem like you were ripping him off. you might come off feeling a little half-fulfilled as well. i'm constantly tempted to do things like this, but I know it would just end terribly. So unless you're thinking of doing it as an exercise, or for your own amusement, it'd probably be better to think of your own idea that is even cooler and other people will want to rip off :D that's always 10000 times better.
     
  8. othman
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    othman Member

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    I was thinking just to do it for amusement but perhaps with the hope that it might be published...and how is it ripping him off Maia? But yes, I suppose it is, in a nutshell, using another author's world but I do not see what's so wrong about that as long as I have been given permission by whoever now owns the rights that is if I want to publish it...and anyway it'd never be a bestseller unless it was like the divinchi code as in "all publicity is good publicity" although I don't entirely agree with that.
     
  9. lovely
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    lovely Member

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    If you're that set on the idea, you could always write it as a fanfic. The only way you would really run into trouble is if you published it. As long as it is written in a way that the reader knows that it draws on someone else's work (like with a disclaimer or specifically posting on a fanfic website), it wouldn't really seem problematic.
     
  10. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why you (the OP) have such difficulty writing a triffid story without triffids. It's such a basic concept -- killer plant -- that it shouldn't be hard to write something similar (and better) without the risk of plagiarism. I've never read the Triffid story in question, but I've seen plenty of killer plant fiction, none of which used the word "triffid." (I had to Wiki it just to know what this thread was talking about. :p) For some reason, the movie Little Shop of Horrors comes to mind; an excellent example of a triffid that's not a triffid.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. you can't get that, since the author is dead and the copyright laws protect the work for 50-70 years [depends on when it was written, as the time limit was changed] after his death...

    2. it's still copying someone else's well-known work, which won't make you seem to be either an ethical or a worth-reading writer to many... and will probably keep any paying publishers from wanting to take on your work...
     
  12. othman
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    othman Member

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    yeah, I suppose but I just love the idea and it'd feel to me to be a rip off if I did a different killer plant species...also mammamaia shouldn't the rights be okay (it was written in early 1950s) as a sequel by a different author was published (in early 2000s)
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's only a 'rip-off' if you use the author's name... if you call them something else, it could be seen as an 'homage' which is acceptable... a rip-off just shows the writer has a limited imagination and less than lofty moral standards in re others' work...

    as i think i mentioned in an earlier post, the sequel may have been written with the blessings of the copyright owner...

    in any case, you can see if the original is now in the public domain by going to the loc site and checking it out...

    www.loc.gov
     
  14. othman
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    othman Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks maia and everyone I'm clear now and yeah, loc said that copyright lasts the remainder of the author's life plus 70 years or 95/120 years from the creation of the thing in question, which ever is shorter.
     
  15. Cady36
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    Cady36 Member

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    Well, permission might be gotten from the estate. But generally the estate of an author chooses a writer, not the other way around! And probably not with an unknown author.

    I still don't think it's a great idea. Killer plants = great; Triffids = either plagarism or a PIA.

    Cady
     
  16. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    If you do not plan on getting published then I say go ahead.

    It could be a good way to get some practice. If you want to publish, talk to a lawyer
     

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