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  1. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    Is your story have any similarities to existing ones?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by mochi-melo, Sep 16, 2019.

    Hello I am new to this forum. :)

    I am currently writing a story for a manga I want to make. I just realized my story has obvious similarities to a movie I've watched before. Thinking on whether I should change some parts in my plot or just keep it the same because I don't want it to be labeled as a rip-off. I'm also far into the plot and currently I'm working on the characters.

    The part I'm having a problem with is the antagonist. He stole everything from the hero --- his fame, life, etc. In other words, he kind of replaced the hero's role in the story. The hero doesn't know it at first and when he finally does, he wants it back.

    Do you have any advice for this?
     
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  2. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    TBH, everything has been done before. Every story will have similarities to others. Which film is it, and what are the similarities? Unless everything's the same, no-one will think you're a rip-off for a few plot elements.

    (And you might want to check out tvtropes.org, click on a random trope, and see how many examples there are. I think that website's a good example of how tropes can be useful and stories can be similar without being rip-offs of each other or derivative.)

    And welcome to the forum, BTW. Congratulations on your first post! :)
     
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  3. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Contributor Contributor

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    Hello!:superhello:

    Well, about the similarities to others.... truth be told, there are similarities to everything/were based on something that came before. Just this afternoon, I read the synopsis for one of the new YA books that we are highlighting by local writer. The plot sounded so very familiar... come to find out, I had read something similar when I was in middle school/high school. the teen services librarian said "yeah, a lot of the plots to these books are similar."
    For certain genres, its inevitable. Genres like Romance and YA tend to follow a format with little variation. Same with Cozy Mysteries and Adventure Quests.

    I totally understand the need to be original; I was describing a plot for one of my WIPs to a coworker, and she says "I think I've read something like that before." I know she wasnt trying to be hurtful, but it did kind of suck hearing that the plot you were so excited to write about had, essentially, already been done before- and whatever she'd read, I'd never even heard of, let alone read!

    I'd say, as long as your plot doesnt follow the movie's plot turn by turn, then you're good.

    While I dont want to discourage you by saying "I've seen this antagonist before," or point out where, I will say keep developing your antagonist because you can stick with this plot but put your own spin on it.
     
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  4. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Contributor Contributor

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    @EstherMayRose beat me to it!
     
  5. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    If you want a writerly existential crisis, check out The Library of Babel. A website that gives access to a library of randomly generated text where any combination of letters you care to search for (up to 3200 characters in this incarnation) has already been written by an algorithm just waiting for you to find it. Literally everything we will ever write is already there.
     
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  6. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Hi floor, make me a sammich. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Probably, but I haven't tried my hand at it yet. :)
     
  7. frigocc

    frigocc Senior Member

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    Yup. Unfortunately, it seems like tons of my ideas I later read in Hitchhiker's Guide. Just made a thread ranting about it, lol.
     
  8. Cephus

    Cephus Active Member

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    Every story you could possibly write has similarities to stories that have already been done. Nothing is original.
     
  9. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum! :D
    I actually started a thread about this very topic a while back :p
    Can you think of a third story that's similar to both A) your own story idea and B) the first story you compared yours to?
     
  10. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    @EstherMayRose - Thanks! The film is Wreck It Ralph. I think my antagonist is similar to King Candy, minus the motivation behind it.

    @J.T. Woody - Same here. I also thought of an idea before and my friend told me it's similar to a webtoon we've read before. I ended up not fleshing out that idea.

    And I'll be sure to keep that in mind!

    @The Dapper Hooligan - Will check that out. Thank you. :)
     
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  11. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    @Simpson17866 - Thanks! I haven't seen that topic and just posted a new one, my bad. :oops:

    Hmm... Now that you mention it, I haven't. I'll probably think of one when I remember it. :D
     
  12. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Not a problem! It took me a while to find it again, and I knew what I was looking for ;)

    Just because other people here have asked similar questions doesn't mean you can't ask yours too :D

    I hope this helps! It's one of my favorite exercises :)

    For example, both Breaking Bad and my own Urban Fantasy novel are about sociopathic Villain Protagonists navigating the criminal underworld. Sounds like I'm copying Breaking Bad, right?

    But The Sopranos and The Godfather also do the same thing ;) and barring the immediately-obvious difference (my story is Fantasy while Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and The Godfather are not), we can still look at the different flavors of Villain Protagonism
    • Walter White starts at the bottom (crushing medical bills, baby on the way, two dead-end jobs until he loses one) and is not a homicidal sociopath yet
    • Tony Soprano and Vito Corleone both start out at the top (the Families are already extremely rich) and are already sociopathic
    • Michael Corleone starts out at the top from being raised on the Family money, but he doesn't start out as being the kind of sociopath who wants to take part in the Family business himself.
    • My own protagonists start out at the bottom, but they're already sociopathic enough to do "whatever it takes" to push for more

    PS It's also an etiquette thing on this site that you put two replies in the same post :)

    Like this ;)
     
  13. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    @Simpson17866: It did! Thanks so much! :D Right now I've added an additional antagonist that controls everything behind the scenes. It's an otherworldly being that the primary antagonist asked for help. I think this is where the similarities end on my part aside from the setting that it takes place in a fantasy place and not a video game. (I'm currently lurking in TV Tropes for ideas, just trying not to waste too much time in there)

    I also like what you did with your characters. In a way they become stronger but forever corrupted. (hoping I made the right choice of words)

    I'll make sure to that from now. :)

    Also I want to ask another thing but I don't know if I should make an new post. So here it is, how do you create a villain like Joker in Batman or any other ones of that archetype? (the crazy clown type)
     
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  14. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds good!
    Good luck ;)
    My lead protagonists are a "Terrible Trio" (one "Big Bad" and two "Co-Dragons") of "Card-Carrying Villains" (two of whom used to be "Well-Intentioned Extremists" before "Slowly Slipping Into [more] Evil"), the strength of whose "Villainous Friendship" has become the "Undying Loyalty" of "True Companions," showing that "Even Evil Has Loved Ones" and that "Even Evil Can Be Loved."

    The lead protagonist originally wanted to be a "Science Hero" as part of the medical world's search a cure for aging because "Living Forever is Awesome." When she couldn't afford college anymore on her scholarships and legal jobs, she got into the drug trade as a "Punch-Clock Villain" to pay the bills because she believed "Utopia Justifies The Means" (making her almost a Black lesbian 25-year-old "Expy" of Walter White from Breaking Bad). However, she's since become a "Straw Nihilist" who doesn't want to waste any more of her far-too-limited life trying to save a "Crapsack World" that fights so hard not to be saved.

    The narrator is a "Decoy Protagonist" and a "First-Person Peripheral Narrator" who subverts the "[Straight] White Male Lead" (he looks like the lead protagonist at first, but when we meet his Black lesbian boss / best friend at the end of Chapter 2, it becomes pretty clear that she's the one calling the shots). His life philosophy boils down to "My Master, Right or Wrong," and while he sees himself as a "Noble Demon," his boss/friend sees him as an "Extreme Doormat."

    The tertiary protagonist, the mutual friend who first brought the trio together, is a "Serial Killer" with a "Dark and Troubled Past," but who explicitly defies both "Insane Equals Violent" (by noting that most people with her love of violence don't share her mental health struggles and vice versa, coming down very strongly on the side of Nature in the debate between "Nature vs Nurture") and "There Are No Therapists" (she takes medication in the story, uses calming techniques, and references therapy sessions and group meetings, and in fact states that this makes her a higher-functioning contract killer / serial killer than she would've been otherwise) because she knows that "Sanity Has Advantages."

    The serial killer also has a younger brother who serves as the "Token Good Teammate" and who the "Unreliable Narrator" thinks is his friend's "Annoying Younger Sibling" for the fact that the brother tries (and fails) to be "The Conscience" and the "Morality Chain" for his sister and her friends.

    The characters start out as "Muggles" who do not know of the "Masquerade," but the bank robberies they're committing at the beginning (to get out from under the thumb of a "Loan Shark" after their drug operation was destroyed) get derailed when a "Mad Bomber" destroys one of the banks, leaving the serial killer in a coma that is NOT treated in any way, shape, or form as a "Convenient Coma." When her two friends run afoul of the bomber the next day, the bomber reveals herself to be a 120-year-old vampire witch who "Looks Like Orlok" when she's not using her "Master of Illusion" powers to disguise herself as a human.

    Going forward, the lead protagonist wants desperately to make sure that she and her friends don't get killed by a supervillain who hurts and murders people "For The Evulz," but she also hopes to form a "Villain Team-Up" so the vampire can teach her and her friends powerful magic (especially healing magic).
    Not exactly: I'd say they've already been corrupted, yet didn't have much power to inflict their corruption on the world, but now they do :twisted:
    Happy to help!
    I would recommend a new thread for that ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  15. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Gay Souffle Contributor

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    Sorry, I forgot to warn you: TVTropes is the enemy of productivity. As it described itself: "It's like rickrolling, but you're trapped all day."

    @Simpson17866, I admire your dedication! I don't know enough tropes for that!
     
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  16. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    @Simpson17866: Now I'm even more curious to find out what those tropes are haha. I agree with @EstherMayRose.

    Well, that's even more interesting and f***** up.

    @EstherMayRose: True. Currently my browser is filled with tabs from that site and I've only typed quite a few on my characters' profiles. :p

    Also, thanks for everyone's help! I hope I'll be able to work on my story from here on. :)
     
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  17. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    @EstherMayRose @mochi-melo To be fair, I have been working on my story for a few years now (it took me 2 years to get from the start of the outline to a finished first draft, and I've been editing and revising for another year and a half since), and I'd already been going to this site for a few years before I started.

    Also, since I'm a sadist who wants both of you to suffer, I've edited my post to add links to everything :twisted:

    See you in a few years! :supergrin:
     
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  18. mochi-melo

    mochi-melo Member

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    @Simpson17866: Please no. :bigeek: (proceeds to click the links)

    I don't even know if I could last that long for a single story. The last one I wrote lasted for almost a year combined. (I'm busy with work back then plus I study drawing in my free time) Never finished it though.

    Good luck! Be cheering for your work. :cheerleader:
     
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  19. LadyErica

    LadyErica Active Member

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    Evening, guys. :) I'm sure you have this thread under control, so I thought I'd just throw in a couple of fun facts.

    Friday 13th. Not only is this a pretty awesome movie, but it has spawned a ton of sequels, comics books, novels, video games and so on. Calling it a success is a major understatement. But if you look at the first movie, it's pretty much a rip-off of Halloween, which came out a few years earlier. They are both about an unknown killer stalking and killing people for no real reason. The main difference is Halloween focused on being creepy, while Friday 13th focused on shocking kills and gore. But if the similarities between the first movie and Halloween wasn't enough, Friday 13th Part 2 introduced Jason Voorhees as a masked killer. Just like Michael Mayers is a masked killer. So they are very similar, but also very different in many ways.

    The Wizard. Some call it a movie, some call it a feature length Nintendo commercial. But here's the fun thing. The movie is about a Nintendo tournament in California, and some boy really wants to win it. So what does he do? Simple. He gets his mentally ill brother and sets off on a journey to California, knowing his brother might be... well, you know... "not all there"..., but he's also really, really good at video games. Now think about it for a second. Guy takes his mentally challenged, yet genius brother on a road trip? That doesn't sound a bit like Rain Man, does it? Hm...

    What do you say if I say archeologist adventurer looking for lost, ancient tombs, temples etc, in grand adventures? Indiana Jones, you say? Well, you might be right... except I'm talking about Allan Quartermain, who first appeared in books in 1885. Indy didn't show up until the 1980s. Interestingly, after two Indy-movies, we got a movie based on Allan Quatermain and King Solomon's mines, trying to ride the Indy-fame train. So who copied who?

    And finally, here's a fun one. What would happen if you take a bunch of people, throw them into a huge, closed off area, and only let them out when a single person is left alive? It's either kill or be killed. Doesn't matter that some are your friends. One person leaves alive. While you might think of Hunger Games, and I don't blame you if you do, I'm talking about a Japanese movie called Battle Royale.

    And the list goes on and on. Star Wars was, ahem, "inspired" by a movie called Hidden Fortress, by Akiro Kurosawa. Alien was more or less a rip-off of The thing from another world (later remade as The Thing, starring Kurt Russel.) Avatar? Pocahontas rip-off. I really wouldn't worry too much about your idea sounding too similar to someone else's. The trick isn't necessarily to write something entirely unique. I think the trick is to make it your own. As long as you avoid ripping it off entirely, I think you're fine. Indiana Jones might have started as a an Allan Quatermain rip-off, but at the same time, I don't think anyone would call him that now. He's his own thing. :)
     
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