1. zShkodra
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    zShkodra New Member

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    Look behind you..

    Your idea already out there?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by zShkodra, May 24, 2013.

    I've just realized that my main story already has a couple of its aspects out there (in the published world). While its a great plot and everything, I want it to be original, and not seem like some copy of something else. I got this plot based from a dream of mine, and now I'm not sure what to do. For those who have had this dilemma, what did you do?

    I expect the story to twist and turn as I write it, so should I just continue writing?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    All ideas are already out there. All of them. Keep writing. ;)
     
  3. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Wrote the idea in my own way thus automatically making it different anyway.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with Wreybies

    I had this completely fantastic and totally original idea about a religious vampire cult, wrote loads about it and then watched the new series of True Blood and guess what... yep you guessed it. I could have swore Sookie Stackhouse saw my MS.

    You can't avoid seeing your idea somewhere before - just do it better than they did!
     
  5. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Write your story and stop thinking that it's the idea that makes great novels...because it's not. It is how you write it that gives it its impact.
     
  6. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Is it? For a fact we don't know. That's why you write it the way you see fit. An idea is borrowed but it can be changed very quickly. No idea is exactly the same. Write your story. Make it yours.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If you've identified other authors who have used similar ideas, just make sure yours don't copy anything else they've written. Whatever they've done with their idea, DON'T do! Part of the fun of writing is pushing ideas in new directions. You can't help where your ideas come from, but you can control where they go.
     
  8. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    The truth is not every idea is out there. Just like history, our stories are unique and cannot be replicated (unless we do so on purpose). Not all half Jewish shitty German artists become fascist murdering dictators and your MC will not act the same way mine does even if we are trying to write the same story while in different rooms.
     
  9. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Ideas may be the same, but everyone writes them differently. That's where your "originality" comes from.
     
  10. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You don't give concrete examples, I mean, whether or not it looks too much like "a steal" (even if incidental) depends on the level of details. This is not an idea, but before I read Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson novels, I had come up with a character who's a mechanic, person of color, tattooed, has a French first name, carries a pistol and practices a martial art, and dated a guy called Sam and falls in love with a guy who isn't called Adam, but whose surname is Adams. I was like, for crapness' sake! but I'm not gonna change her just because someone else thought of her first, besides, she's a space ship mechanic, non-Native American, younger, bareknuckle-boxes which is way cooler than some haya-bong karate, and speaks French and I can always change the ex-bf's name. So it's not that bad. Sometimes coincidences like that are pretty funny.
     
  11. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    That's fucking hilarious. So far, I' haven't had that happen to me yet. If it does, you'll be the first to know.
     
  12. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    And besides, now that Briggs has provided you with such a clear example of what your story is not, you can focus on what your story is way better than you could before :)
     
  13. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    This has happened to me a few times. The first and still most freaky was a few years after Douglas Adams died I was bemoaning to a friend how sad it was not be able to read another Dirk Gently story ever again, and she said, "why don't you write one then?"

    So I started one. I wasn't writing it in earnest, just when in the mood or between projects, when they published his uncompleted "The Salmon of Truth" which he stopped writing out of frustration. Later he realized that the cause of his frustration was that he was writing both a new Hitchhiker's Guild and a new Dirk Gently novel in one--which wouldn't work. So he decided to split the two and continue writing them both. Which is when he died. :( Anyway, the parts that were the Gently story were unbelievably similar to my Gently story. Not the words but the circumstances, how I handled the main problem of beginning the new Gently story in the first place (because there was a problem to start with seeing how he ended the Tea-time of the Soul. another was how to bring back the Eagle-which was exactly the same solution as mine. Having Gently waking up stumbling out of his room only to fall to the first floor because the stairs were being replaced, the front of his house covered in plastic because it wasn't there having been demolished from the jet fighter cashing into it. Hell I even had a stampeding rhino...WFT? I could go on...but needless to say it freaked me out. :O

    These things happen because I believe that there is a time for things to happen. If one person doesn't do it someone else will. I'm sure many of you have heard that the TV was invented by two people independently of one another: the patent went to the guy who filed the papers first. I just saw an interesting documentary about how the Wright brothers weren't the first to achieve powered flight. But they were the first to widely publish the fact.

    Still it's slightly freaky to know that stories are out there making themselves be written.
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps it is a gestalt mindset driving the dynamic. As you mention, it is true that the Wright Bros. were not in fact the first, just the first to publish. Perhaps (and this is just me woolgathering) world events, things in the cultural zeitgeist, make for certain groupings of thoughts to naturally coagulate and precipitate from the greater human mind.
     
  15. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Very likely. Or at least there is a good reason to believe so. After all, you hang out a certain group long enough and you'll start to talk like them. Or you listen to a particular form of music and you end-up talking "street" :D
     
  16. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    My problem isn't so much the ideas themselves, but the way I write them. So many times, I've written out an entire line or paragraph only to delete it because I open a book and someone else has already written it pretty close to the way I did. Why do I nix it you ask? Mainly because I have enough headaches in my life without some random guy popping up months down the road accusing me of plagiarizing when in reality it wasn't. I've had it happen before on a cliche' line like "it was a dark and stormy night" (not literally but you get the picture.) This guy actually harassed me for months and even threatened a lawsuit unless I removed my story from the internet, though he had absolutely no proof of plagiarism.

    Going back and looking at it now (I was 16 at the time) I probably should have just blown him off since he WAS NOT a published author, nor making profit off his work, nor was I. I seriously doubt any court would have actually taken him seriously.
     
  17. PyrZern
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    PyrZern Member

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    Most ideas are already gonna be out there. Might not be in the novel forms, mind you. Maybe it's in comic book, or video games, or animations, or illustrations.
    Don't think much about it. Just write, and keep writing until you finish it. Then make it good :)
     
  18. doghouse
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    doghouse Member

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    Story is not just about plot. And idea is not story.

    Write it, man. Burn the keyboard will determined fingertips!
     

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