1. Inna

    Inna New Member

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    Plot search

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by Inna, Nov 13, 2016.

    Hey guys, sorry if this is not in the right place.

    I just wanted to ask if there is anything you could suggest that would do a good book plot search?
    The idea is that I have had an idea for a book before which, after I had told to a friend, was told that it was already a movie. I had never watched the movie, I guess someone just thought of it first... So, to avoid something like that, I'd like to find something like a website or an app that would do a plot search on a wide range of books/movies based on an outline of the plot I have in mind.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    You could try searching via key words that fit your story - like, if you were trying to describe Raiders of the Lost Ark you'd type "archaeology, adventure, Nazis, snakes, treasure" into google and see what came up...

    I'm not aware of a single website, though.
     
  3. JackyJack

    JackyJack Member

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    I can’t see the issue with working on your own idea, even if there is a movie or a book with similar plot/basis. You will give the story your own twists, details, traits, characters and pacing. Thinking something like “all good stories have already been told” gets you nowhere. Yeah, Simpsons already did it. So, what?

    If you look closer on some products, you’ll find their authors, drawing inspiration from older plots via books and movies. Nothing wrong here. Dead space was based on John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, which in turn is based on John W. Campbell’s “Who Goes There?” Each author made his own touches and shaped the story in their own way.

    It goes even further. Robert Silverberg’s “The Man in the Maze” uses Sophocles' play Philoctetes. How about that? You’ll probably find your ideas used somewhere by someone to a some degree. In no way it should stop you in fleshing out your own vision from the plot.
     
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  4. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    Why not take one element of the plot you have and turn it on its ear? It's something Donald Maass talks about in his books on writing (Writing the Blockbuster Novel and Writing 21st Century Fiction.
     
  5. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    TVTropes is a good place to look at how the different components of storytelling get combined in different ways by different works.

    There's a lot of information and it's not always easy to navigate when you don't know exactly what you're looking for, but if you start someplace that's somewhat related to what you're looking for, that can get you reading about stories that might have also done other things more similar to what you're looking for specifically. Are there any extremely-general notes you might be willing to share that I could try to point you at tropes pages for?
     
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  6. Inna

    Inna New Member

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    Oh, there's quite a few ideas, really. I would do some searching and if I get stuck I'll pop in again, but thank you for offering to help, Simpson 17866!

    Thanks to JackyJack for a very positive view on the topic and thanks in general for the good suggestions.

    If someone would have another idea - please do share.
     
  7. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    This is why so many writers are on secret government watch lists.
     
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