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  1. Damage718

    Damage718 Active Member

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    Is the story original enough?

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Damage718, Oct 21, 2019.

    We've probably all asked ourselves this before, right?

    I'm facing this question (again) right now. I have some short stories that were published in a local literature newsletter that were well-received and I was encouraged by the feedback. Any of them could be fleshed out into a novel, one of which I have started, but then the old question(s) enters my mind.

    Is the trope overdone? Is my angle original enough? Do I have enough to build the little universes with?

    What are some ways to put your stories in check that you've found successful?
     
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  2. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    Personally, I've become almost entirely uninterested in attempting complete originality. I really don't honestly care. Not that copying is something I'm going for, but having similarities in other works is inevitable, and very nearly impossible to avoid in some genres. And I'm completely okay with that. The story isn't going to garner the bulk of its respect from originality, but more likely from its execution instead.

    Now there are some tropes that are just plain overdone, but I'm sure you already know most of them and can avoid them, but honestly there aren't really that many. In your case, I would pick out the stories you feel most attached to, and expand them, or write something in their individual dimension. Don't be worried about originality, just get that vomit draft out on the table, and then spend the time to edit and fix what you have. I and others have said it before, you aren't going to really see the story you have until it's all the way out there. Get it on paper and then you can open up these questions, as well as actually have the physical ability to fix them.
     
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  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll I said I write, didn't say good. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Originality, what's that? :p

    Ultimately there is nothing new under the sun, but you
    can try to put your own spin on things within the story
    to make it your own by using your 'voice' to tell the events
    of how the story unfolds.

    Even my first novel draws from books, movies, and video games
    that I have partaken in, and then fabricated a story around those
    themes and ideas, to tell a story of basically revenge. :)
    (Though some thing that paper use in the 2700's is a bit unrealistic,
    but can get behind the fact that all weapons are ballistic based in
    one form or another, and knives/swords are also ok. But paper is
    the unrealilstic element.) o_O
     
  4. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Senior Member

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    I have an idea for a story.

    A professional wrestler finds that his testicles are home to two races of warring micro-people, who give him the power to expanding his testicles to gigantic size, which he uses to try and overthrow the President until he is abducted by aliens who want him to use his powers to win a battle against a giant space-monkey.

    Is that original?

    On a serious note, OP - you can use overdone tropes and still write a good story. For example, (the original) Star Wars has a narrative based on Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, but if you watched the two, you wouldn't recognise them. It's not the size of the trope, it's how you use it.
     
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  5. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sure I've heard that one before. :)
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here's the thing as I see it. As long as you're not actually plagiarizing somebody else's writing, I wouldn't worry. Story ideas can't be copyrighted anyway.

    In fact, many people like to read stories that are similar to ones they've read before. So writing a story with similar events, characters and plotlines can actually be a bonus. As long as the story idea is genuinely yours ...operate on the theory that Great Minds Think Alike! Don't worry if somebody else has also had a similar story idea.

    In fact, marketing often boils down to "If you liked so-and-so's story, you will probably enjoy mine." Finding similarities to other writers can be a bonus, not a detriment. Tropes exist because lots of readers expect them.
     
  7. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    I've always defended the use of tropes. Worrying about your story not being good because it's not entirely original is just a sad notion. No one really cares if you have tropes and "overused" themes, they just care about whether it's good or not.
     
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  8. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Even predictibilty can sometimes be a plus. Folks expect certain things of certain genres. If you can make the characters and predicament so intensely interesting that the reader gets caught up in the story, then you will succeed. It doesn't really matter if it's similar to something else. Just don't make it a blatant rip-off of something else.
     
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  9. Damage718

    Damage718 Active Member

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    Good feedback all, thanks :)

    I guess I'm just tiptoeing the "overthinking" line as I expand the short into full length. The one I'm working on is fiction but the catalyst is based on a historical event. I've always loved taking a small, real life situation as the foundation and then asking "what if?" to drive off on a fictional tale.
     
  10. Xzx

    Xzx Banned

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    Yes it is.:)
     

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