Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Reilley Turner, Aug 26, 2015.
Would it be feasible?
Why shouldn't it be?
I would say maybe. Depends on what you mean by the word based.
Like Johny Cage was based on a real life actor. But would you have known that if I didn't say it? lol
If you want a book based on Mario and you make well a plumber named Mario. You are in trouble.
But if you make your own character inspired by aspects of a character you like? Yeah sure. But you still have to make them your own.
My fantasy is heavily inspired by The Elder Scrolls and The Legend of Zelda, but I'm making sure that my characters, settings, etc. are my own.
As GuardianWynn said, if you make a character, say an elf named Link that runs around fighting evil and stuff, you'll be in big trouble. This is not to say, however, that you cannot write a fantasy where an elf boy goes on an epic quest. Just make sure that your elf hero is not Link, and the world he's exploring is not the same as the ones that exist in The Legend of Zelda.
* I don't mean that you're writing a story based off of The Legend of Zelda, it's just an example.
I agree that it depends on what is meant by "based".
I based the main character of my current work in progress on parts of the character arcs of Booker DeWitt (of Bioshock Infinite) and Blackwall (of Dragon Age Inquisition). Like both of them, she's traumatized by a horrible event she was involved in. Her guilt and self-loathing drive her into a destructive spiral that nearly destroys her.
She's eventually pulled out of it by another character, who convinces her she can still do some good. She joins an organization dedicated to protecting the common folk from the dangers of magic. During the time between this and the start of the novel, she manages to save a lot of people and stop a lot of horrible things. But she's still filled with guilt and self-loathing. Her character arc in the novel itself is going to be based on her recognizing that she has changed and is a much different person now, allowing her to finally let go of her self-hatred.
As long as you aren't ripping off a character and their arc, I think you're fine.
Another trick too is likiness rights are just as clear cut as you would think either.
Take a young hero that is trying to save a noblemen from a pig demon as he tries claim the ultimate power? Even if you name these things different. Someone still may try to claim likness rights and well. That would suck.
The core difference between inspired and stealing comes down this;
Inspired is: Wow this is amazing. I wish I could make a story like this. With my own creative difference of course.
Stealing: Wow this is awesome. I could just render this a different color and I bet someone would buy it.
The funny thing and horrifying thing actually. Is an artist may not realize he is stealing and think he is inspired. Not saying you are in this boat. Just saying, be careful
Yep. It can be a very thin line.
A good idea when doing something like this is to think of how you'll make your work different. Not simply switching names and stuff, but fundamental differences between your work and the work that inspired you.
Honestly it would be very difficult to write a character that wasn't able to be compared to another character that already exists in some way. But as others have said, make sure your character isn't an obvious 'ripoff'.
I agree with Jaro, I believe it would be very hard in this day and age not to create a character that has not be inspired by someone else, whether they be a video game character, a friend or someone quirky you saw on the street. I think as mentioned also above, you need to be mindful that you don't cross that line of just simply admiring characteristics of a person and blatantly using all their characteristics and taking over their persona.
Good luck on the writing!
That is a good way to distinguish the two; I have also thought of it as a work-centered vs. author-centered issue: "Does this similarity exist between my creation and someone else's creation because it makes my creation more aesthetically pleasing, or because it lets me benefit (in money, or fame, or something else) from someone else's effort?"
Ok. I have a small dilemma. I want to incorporate a "scene" (if you could call it that) from the third game in the Mother series (Mother 3), but I'm worried it might be too similar. The "scene (?)" is where two twins (Lucas and Claus) live up together, get separated after their mother's brutal death. Then Claus gets recruited to the evil side, but at the end of the game, while he is dying, he becomes "good" again.
Now for my changes: brother and sister live together, get separated (due to reasons I still have to think about), sister becomes a mercenary, then once they are reunited, they keep in touch but the sister keeps the mercenary job.
Is it too similar? Or is it different enough to be considered "inspired"?
Eh, sounds a bit too similar. It'd be like me writing a story where a father sired a son, turned to the Dark Side, became an evil lich, killed the mother and tried to kill the boy but was somehow defeated and 30 years later, father and newly-resurrected evil father fight it out for the fate of the world. For the savvy among us, this sounds a lot like the plots of Star Wars and Harry Potter melded together.
How would you modify it to make it less similar? Or should I scrap the idea completely and go for something else (idea-wise, not book wise)?
My first thought was to have the two stay together, estranged from the closest caretaker they have left. They're both mercs, the caretaker doesn't support it. They reunite at the end and make amends.
I don't mean this to be rude/mean, but I don't think you full understand what I'm asking. :/ I recently posted a thread with two excerpts here. I want to to be similar, but I don't want it to be stolen from somewhere else. I'd like the two to be separated and reunited, have one of them be a brash-ish person and the other to be a wimp-ish person. If that's too similar, I'll give it some more thought to what I need to be there.
Separate names with a comma.