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  1. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    Some questions regarding writing novels?

    Discussion in 'Novels' started by Tcrumpen, Dec 1, 2016.

    I should preface this with saying that i've never written any kind of story ever (unless you count erotica here and there). But anyway i'm borderline dyslexic meaning that i find reading books very difficult; but i've noticed recently that after watching a lot of TV Shows and films revolving around magic and the 'arcane arts' that i'd like to maybe write a novel around that as a side hobby.

    Now i'm just wondering a few things

    1. If i take inspiration from other people's works (like book, movies etc.) do i as an author have to decalre it
    2. After how many words are stories classed as 'novels'?
    3. Is it as hard as i think it is to get a novel published?
    4. If i collaborate with people to help with story ideas, character developments etc. would i state them as a co-author like i would in an acedemic paper?

    Apologies if this all seems trvial etc. couldn't see anything like this in the FAQ
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    Every story takes inspiration from other stories. George Lucas gave personal credit to The Hidden Fortress as one of his key inspirations for Star Wars, but he didn't have to put anything in the Ending Credits of the story itself.

    If the inspiration is close enough that you would need to credit the work directly, then you probably shouldn't publish in the first place until you distinguish your story from the original a bit more.

    Most novels are 60 thousand to 100 thousand, but the bare minimum is 40 thousand.

    Harder ;) And even if you do, it won't be enough money for you to quit your day job.

    If somebody writes material that you use, then you should credit them as a co-author.

    If somebody just looks over your story and gives you feedback about the plot and characters et cetera, then that's called Beta Reading. Stephen King recommends 5 to 10 Beta Readers for any given story.

    If you change your plot/characters because you agree with one or more of your Beta Readers' feedback, then you should thank them for their help (and frankly, you should also thank the Readers' whose suggestions you decide not to use), but you don't have to do anything official.
     
    SethLoki likes this.
  3. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, i wasn't looking at publishing it to be honest but it was something i wanted to know just in case i ever do actually go ahead with this; how would one determine whether the plot/story is close enough to another piece of content that it requires mentioning

    As i'm thinking of basing my (maybe eventual novel) on a cross between Dr. Strange (the movie) and the BBC TV series Merlin
     
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    That probably also means you find complying with commonly accepted spelling, grammar and punctuation (the dreaded SPaG!) rules when you write. (Your failure to capitalize the personal pronoun "I" in the above, for example).

    This will add a whole layer of difficulty as far as getting published goes, unless you have competent help with the editing. Even if it's not for publication, bad SPaG will leave any readers that you do get/friends you show it to/strangers you inflict it upon frustrated as hell.


    To the OP, @Simpson17866 has answered your points pretty comprehensively.

    Since you still seem unsure about the aspect of a recognisable source...Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters is recognisably based upon Shakespeare's Macbeth. But he's changed the words, and he's changed the characterization, and he's changed how the story ends. It's a whole new story now. If you wanted to rewrite Star Wars (the original) and have the Death Star win because Luke Skywalker was more interested in girls than saving the empire, go for it...just change the names, because those big Hollywood franchises are jealous as hell of their copyright!


    If you're thinking of basing your novel around a TV series, be aware that a TV series has a different vibe to a novel. With a TV series, there's a tendency to stretch it out as long as they can, and then add in a Christmas special, and then recycle some old ideas, and only stop when the ratings fall to the point that the channel doesn't renew (remember Fr****s?). With a novel, it's about an MC facing a series of obstacles which he has to overcome to reach his final goal, with it all being resolved in the final chapter.
     
  5. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    That maybe how American TV shows are but Birtish ones are a bit more thought out, Merlin got cancelled just as it was getting good
     
  6. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    I'm also not thining about basing it in the same universe as the TV show just borrowing elements from it and maybe tweaking it. For example in Merlin there is magic but it's outlawed in Camelot; i was thinking of changing it so that magic is freely accepted and that magicians are free to live amoungst other people without fear of death but have a sort of underground cult which want to believe that magicians are better that "the common welp" and try to effectivley try to make the worlds theirs not by complete annihlation but by bending reality and altering time and space
     
  7. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    I think that is the best thing.
    There are a lot of resources out there for dyslexic people by dyslexic authors.

    To do something like this, there needs to be a counter balance for the 'normals', otherwise the magic people would have taken over long ago.
     
  8. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    At the moment it's still kind of in it's conceptual stage it was only after watching Dr. Strange today that made me want to put a bit of thought into this so my thoughts and concepts are all over the place regarding this. Although what would you recommend as a "baleance" so form of trinket or artifact the reduces the potenancy of any spells cast upon the "norms" ?
     
  9. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Personally I am tired of the 'object that stops magic, so it will be stolen and fought over' storyline.
    If that story were told differently, I might be able to get into it.
    Maybe the object is simply a rake owned by a farmer and nobody, including him, knows.
    Maybe the object is a child and when the child leaves for a day all hell breaks loose because the magic can flow freely. Then it can be figured out over time, and then a fight over the child/object.
    I can think of many scenarios but all would take a lot of backstory.

    Try to follow human nature. Sit and think about living in this world and where the checks and balances would be and how they would be. How did the 2 groups agree to the terms?
    How long has it been like this?
    What was it like before?

    Any time you have 2 groups of people that are so different, it is simple nature to have a struggle over power.
     
  10. Tcrumpen

    Tcrumpen New Member

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    Maybe then instead of the "power struggle over an item" thing i have a group of peopel expirementing with magic to create something never seen by mages before, like infinity stone from MCU level of power
     
  11. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Yeah, maybe the backstory is that mages hid a book from normals. Norm found it and it explained how norms can get together and imbue an object that mages cannot break or handle?

    No matter what happens you need a counter balance to whatever.

    One thing I thought of was an object that is at the bottom of a 'bottomless' well. The mages have conspired for 100 years to create an 'aquaman' of sorts to retrieve it. The aquaman would need a built in flaw so a norm could defeat it at depths and save norms. Unless you are going to let mages win.
     

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