1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. The95Writer

    The95Writer Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    10

    Inspiration from another book or movie?

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by The95Writer, Feb 4, 2014.

    Can I make a novel (or novella) inspired by another book or a movie? Or related to it somehow?
    I am wondering if it is 'aloud to base another book idea around an already published story or movie released, but of my own perspective.
     
  2. Passero

    Passero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    London
    Isn't that just Fan Fiction?
     
  3. The95Writer

    The95Writer Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    10
    Haha, I never new there was an actual term for it. I am new to book categorization.

    • Is it legal?
    • Would I have to not refer or mention characters in the source of inspiration?
    • Can I put at the beginning of the book, 'Inspired by [Insert Name]'?
     
  4. rasmanisar

    rasmanisar Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    29
    Bad idea unless you have no aspirations of ever being published. The exception is satirical versions of the same book, but I suspect that's not what you have in mind.
     
  5. Robert_S

    Robert_S Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    165
    If it's still in copyright, no.
     
  6. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    20,478
    Likes Received:
    12,149
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Well, inspired by is a very different creature from related to or based on. You're going to have to give us a better picture of which of the three is really in play. My own current work is inspired by a scene in a film, but that's where the similarities end.
     
  7. mg357

    mg357 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    34
    I have gotten a lot of inspiration from other books and movies and even music as well.
     
  8. Passero

    Passero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    London
    Don't we all draw inspiration from books, movies, everyday events,...?

    How many books were released about a young boy learning to be a wizard after the success of J.K. Rowling? That's all fine.
    If you on the other hand started to make a spin off book telling the story about a classmate of Harry Potter, that's a different thing.
     
  9. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    this is a very 'iffy' issue... if you use some of the same characters, any similar scenes, settings, etc., then it could be plagiarism, or copyright infringement, or whatever else applies, that the original author's attorneys want to throw at you...

    to get valid advice, you need to consult a literary attorney, not members of a writing site...
     
  10. Fitzroy Zeph

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada
    There have been a good many make overs of classics over the years. Bridget Jones Diary interprets Pride and Prejudice as an example.
     
  11. JayG

    JayG Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    360
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Every week publishers probably get hundreds of stories based on the premise behind Cinderella, which is pretty basic. So no problems if you use the theme and write your own story. Ten writers given the same theme will turn out ten stories that seem completely unrelated because the voice is their own and the situations relate only by theme. Remember, every romance novel is, in essence, boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl. And they comprise more then half the books sold.

    But copying someone else's world? For generations vampires conformed to Beam Stoker's model. And while people read them they were a minor category. But then came Ann Rice, who changed everything and spawned hundreds who wrote versions of her worlds...until True Blood, and Twilight, and...

    The moral? Create your own work with your own characters, based on your own needs and imagination.

    And as for setting the story in another author's world, with the same characters? As noted it's called fan fiction and you don't usually see it available in the bookstores.
     
  12. Remus Penn

    Remus Penn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    [Insert fandom location here]
    It depends on what you mean. Do you mean a whole different plot and story inspired by one thing in a book/movie, or a story with the same setting/world/characters as the aforementioned book/movie?

    If it's the first one, it's not a big deal. I got my inspiration for the current series I'm working on by watching The Sword in the Stone. You know that scene where they turn into squirrels and that one lady squirrel has the hots for Arthur? Yeah, that was what inspired me to write a medieval fantasy where thousands of animals were turned into human form to be used as soldiers, but they still had the minds of animals and were basically a failure.

    If it's the second one, that would be classed as fanfiction and it would probably be up to the author/editor/whatever if you could publish it.
     
  13. TLK

    TLK Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    35
    This hugely depends what you mean by inspiration.

    For me, inspiration is something that sparks an idea off in your head, or perhaps encourages you to do something or see something through. That idea or that something could be (and usually is) completely different to what the idea that inspired you was. For example, the novel I'm writing is inspired by two works. The first is the Tunnels series, but the only resemblance that has to my work is the idea of a different world hidden amongst our own. The second is Lord of the Rings but my story has very little resemblance to it at all, LotR just inspired me to go bigger and more ambitious. In this case, it's more than fine and, actually, I think it's very different not to be inspired.

    You seem to be talking more about plagiarism, or taking ideas and themes from other works. Careful. Sparking an idea and taking an idea are two very different things. Using myself as an example, if I were to include in my story a mind controlling piece of jewellery, which the Dark Lord of the story needed to regain his power, I would be moving into the realms of plagiarism and illegalness (technical term).

    So it's good to be inspired, just not good to take ideas. Two very different things.
     
  14. Man in the Box

    Man in the Box Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Brazil
    Unless it's called 50 Shades of Grey. :D
     
  15. hvb

    hvb Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Hugh Howey always encourages all fan fiction based on his Wool series. These are, as far as I know, all self published on Amazon, but those authors might well go on to bigger and better things.
    I am surprised, as so many people here write sci fi /fantasy, no one has mentioned this series. Wonder if I am the only one here who thought his concept and the development of it is just so brilliant.
    He also promotes himself and his books in his blog which gives people an interesting insight in this author and his works.
    Hetty
     
  16. Larissa Redeker

    Larissa Redeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Dark elves lands
    Well, if you use the same "universe" (chars or locations or events) it's a fan fiction. You can do it only for pleasure and writing training, not as a commercial piece.

    I wrote some Star Wars fanfics when I started to write to train my skills. It's funny. It makes your brain has ideas, even it based on something that is already setted.

    My new book was started as a fanfic. I wanted a simple story only to have something to draw as a comic (I tried to be a comic artist, but I'm better with words). But with time it becomes to have it's own voice. From a simple fanfic that was a crossover of The Elders Scroll game series and Perry Rhodan it grow up to a story that is new. I got an entire universe (new chars, locations, situations) from a simple fanfic. It's took an year and half to become at the point where I have the premisses, the chars and the main plot. But I see now that it worths the effort.

    And you can use fanfic to promote yourself (not exactly a good thing, but I know two authors that started as fan fiction writers, and have now a good horde of followers and readers) :)
     
    Man in the Box likes this.
  17. Man in the Box

    Man in the Box Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Brazil
    Me too. I originally used concepts from Nasu Kinoko's works and then I made my story a thing of my own.
     
  18. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    We all need to get our inspiration somewhere. All you need to worry about is copyright and that kind of stuff. Even the fan fiction community is thriving, if you want to go that far with it. There's nothing wrong with combining different inspiration sources and changing things around quite a bit, though. That's what I do and it works well for me as it allows for more realism, precision, imagination and uniqueness. Just don't jump on the first best idea or try profitting off other people's franchises. But look at how many have copied so much from authors like JRR Tolkien: languages, names, metals, races, maps and character types etc.
     
  19. Carl Magnus

    Carl Magnus Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    12
    You can get inspiration from movies. There will inevitably be a "cross-pollination" of ideas since some themes and ideas will sink into your subconscious. I don't see why "exposing yourself" to ideas from movies is "cheating" as long as you do not plagiarize. There's a difference between inspiration and plagiarism.
     
    KhalieLa likes this.
  20. KhalieLa

    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    458
    Location:
    United States
    This is a good point.

    The book I just finished writing was inspired by song lyrics.
    http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_atlanta_rhythm_section/imaginary_lover.html
    I looked at my son and said, "I don't know where they got their imaginary lover, but mine argues with me all the time. I get along great with my imaginary lover's brother though!" Thus, the creative explosion happened and I had three dynamic characters. I started writing as soon as we stopped laughing and this book has been entertaining my entire family ever since.

    I also love Tolkien (who doesn't) and elements of the book were inspired by the line where Gandalf where he says there are 5 wizards, including himself, Saruman, Radagast, and the two blue's, but he's forgotten their names. I have two blue wizards, who can't for the life of them remember the names of the other three. What I don't have are hobbits, dragons, magic rings, gold, etc.
     
  21. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Custom Title. Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    The two blue wizards seems like more of a tip of the hat than theft. Then again what do I know, I'm only a marine biologist.
     
  22. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,393
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    England
    My book's inspired by HST FaLiLV.

    Nowt wrong or illegal in being inspired.
     
  23. AniGa

    AniGa Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    11
    ... why are we suddenly necro-posting this?


    Greets,
    AniGa
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  24. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    20,478
    Likes Received:
    12,149
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Because when it comes to general questions - like the one found within the OP - that have validity long after the OP has asked them, we don't care about necro-posting in our forum. It's perfectly fine. More annoying is 9 bajillion individual threads all asking the exact - same - question. :wtf:
     
    Bjørnar Munkerud likes this.
  25. Aerisfullofwhimsy

    Aerisfullofwhimsy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Gregory Maguire has made a good living out of being inspired by other works of literature and folk tales. I guess I am parroting others here by saying make sure there's a wide line between inspired and plagiarized. And of course, there is fan fiction, which I can not tell you how large the audience for that would be. Probably large for something like the Hunger Games series, smaller for something very specific like Duck Dynasty erotica.
    Inspired is okay is it like Dante's Inferno "inspired" by the bible but not okay if it's like Denis Leary's "inspired" by Bill Hicks inspired. Ended sentence with the same word it started, writing done for the day:)
     

Share This Page