Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Writer's Corner

Discovering your idea is already 'taken'



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:19 pm
ChingChuan  Female.gif ChingChuan is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5331 days
Location: Lelystad, Holland
Age: 28
Posts: 34
Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

Today I started re-reading the Eathsea trilogy (Ursula LeGuin) and to my astonishment I discovered that I'd used the entire magic system in my story. I hadn't done it on purpose, I really thought that I'd devised something new, something that wasn't done before - and now the idea is useless (if I ever want to publish it). I'm still going to finish the story because I can always edit the magic out, but it's still quite unnerving when you notice such a thing...

Something similar happened to me this summer. I read a book by Karen Miller (The innocent mage) and the story was almost like my NaNoWriMo novel of november 2007. The main plotline was about the same, only the characters / setting was different. That's especially horrible because I'd never read the book before...

Has this also happened to you? What do you do about it? Do you continue your story/book or not?

I'd like to hear your opinions and experiences on this.


__________________
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:46 pm
Reader  Female.gif Reader is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4691 days
Location: The Universe
Posts: 105
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

That's actually my worst fear. I'm always revising and checking stuff and looking things up on google to make sure I'm not copying anything too much. I do not mind having a main plot be used, I mean, there's tons of versions of Hero Must Kill Bad Guy And Then Become King/Queen. It's the sub-plots I want to make unique. And it's hard. I'm constantly reading a book that's almost the same as something in my book.


__________________

Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
~Gardener, Richard II.


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:12 pm
quiditchwitch  Female.gif quiditchwitch is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4866 days
Location: Under the Stairs
Age: 26
Posts: 324
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

Oh its a terrible sinking feeling
I was in the library yesterday and there was this book called powers. And it was about this boy and girl who had powers like in my story. Not exactly alike, but close enough to make me sweat it out a bit.

You know what though, since there are so many talented writers out there some ideas are bound to be some ideas that are recycled, even by accident. So take with a grain of salt, and be proud of your story. If its one way, don't go out of your way to change it to be another way. Every story is different, even if they are similar.


__________________

One door, one key, one idea...one big mess.
The Phenomenon Begins
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 3:45 am
KeeperOfAranja  Female.gif KeeperOfAranja is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4177 days
Location: Avalon's Shores, 2nd tent
Posts: 29
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I DESPISE it when that happens!

You'll get this amazing, incredible, unique idea that you're really excited about and then you read a book or watch a movie and surprise, surprise! It drives me crazy and makes me mad. I always feel like it was my idea first, for some reason, especially when you get the idea and a couple of months later something new comes out that uses the same idea.


__________________


Felis Draconis Among The Tame NaNoWriMo 2008

My Story, Non-HP---------> The Hands Of The Poet Please read and and leave feedback. Or I'll sick the Antonym on you!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 4:10 am
hermy_weasley2's Avatar
hermy_weasley2  Female.gif hermy_weasley2 is offline
Unspeakable
 
Joined: 5600 days
Age: 30
Posts: 2,133
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I'm not really a serious writer, for several reasons, but I have had plot ideas come to me, only to find out they were "taken" after starting to work on them a little.

No too long ago, I outlined a plot and started to write it, only to go to a movie and see the exact same thing in one of the trailers. I tried to convince myself I could make it different, but I knew I couldn't.


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 27th, 2008, 4:44 pm
LupinsAngel  Female.gif LupinsAngel is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 3873 days
Location: Wales, where the waffles are!
Age: 24
Posts: 38
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I've started plenty of stories, but they've always been halted because I've found books or films with exactly the same storyline. That's why I've started my new novel about the London 7/7 bombings - because no-one's written a novel about them yet, as far as I know.


__________________
With a hi-hi-ho and a hi-hi-hey,
We're hoisting the flags to be free,
We will steal the show, Jolly Rogers go!
Pirates are all we can be!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 29th, 2008, 2:20 am
themagickeeper  Female.gif themagickeeper is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4116 days
Location: In between here and there...
Age: 29
Posts: 316
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

This has happened to me. My monolgue which I have plans to turn into a novel is called A Rose by Any Other Name. A week after I sent it away, I was in the book section of Big W and there was a book called Rose by Any Other Name. The actual content of the book is different, but the title the same :S


Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 29th, 2008, 5:36 am
Wab's Avatar
Wab  Undisclosed.gif Wab is offline
The Next Great Adventurer
 
Joined: 5491 days
Location: Mornington Crescent
Posts: 15,280
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

It's inevitable. It's been said that there are only seven stories. The art is how they are blended and executed.

If you take HP as an example, there've been stories about schools for wizards, British public schools and Harry's quest comes straight out of Campbell. It was all the execution.


__________________
A patriot is someone who wants the best for his country, including the best laws and the best ideals. It's something other people should call you -- you shouldn't call yourself that. People who call themselves patriots are usually liars. -- Donald Woods

You got what anybody gets . . . You got a lifetime. -- Death of the Endless
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 29th, 2008, 10:24 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4262 days
Location: Berlin
Age: 38
Posts: 134
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

out of campbell?? Is this a saying or an author. Sorry, that Iīm dumb
the only campbell i know writes books about language theory.

You mean thereīs also a person that has to destroy horcruxes and gets his means to survive through his motherīs sacrifice?


I just realize that my idea of an ever frozen land is not unique. After all it is not snowing there like in Narnia (too cold for godīs sake!) And itīs not a witch who is responsible for that.


__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 29th, 2008, 11:34 pm
PureBloodGirl  Female.gif PureBloodGirl is offline
Banned
 
Joined: 3892 days
Location: Imprisoned by Tibsy, HELP ME!
Age: 23
Posts: 1,906
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

No it has never happened to me before, at least not that I can think of.

If it happens and you want to publish the story see if you can get the author and their publishing company's permision.

Of course you continue with your story, but see if you can alter it so that it isn't exactly like the book that has your idea in it.


Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 30th, 2008, 4:03 am
Wab's Avatar
Wab  Undisclosed.gif Wab is offline
The Next Great Adventurer
 
Joined: 5491 days
Location: Mornington Crescent
Posts: 15,280
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

Quote:
Originally Posted by secunda View Post
out of campbell?? Is this a saying or an author.
Joseph Campbell was a mythologist who defined the hero's journey which pinpoints characteristics common to almost all literary heroes from Christ to King Arthur to Batman to Luke Skywalker.


__________________
A patriot is someone who wants the best for his country, including the best laws and the best ideals. It's something other people should call you -- you shouldn't call yourself that. People who call themselves patriots are usually liars. -- Donald Woods

You got what anybody gets . . . You got a lifetime. -- Death of the Endless
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old June 1st, 2008, 12:23 am
hermy_weasley2's Avatar
hermy_weasley2  Female.gif hermy_weasley2 is offline
Unspeakable
 
Joined: 5600 days
Age: 30
Posts: 2,133
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I agree that it's inevitable that story lines and elements of them are going to repeat themselves. Of course, with the idea I mentioned, almost everything was the same, even the characters were similar to what had popped into my mind.


Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old June 5th, 2008, 4:35 am
quiditchwitch  Female.gif quiditchwitch is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4866 days
Location: Under the Stairs
Age: 26
Posts: 324
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

Hey Salvador Dali once said "He who imitates nothing creates nothing"

So I guess it is inevitable even though it is really frustrating. We have to take every similarity in stride and accept that our story is what it is - different than any other story, no matter how similar.


__________________

One door, one key, one idea...one big mess.
The Phenomenon Begins
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old June 11th, 2008, 10:35 pm
wimblemimble's Avatar
wimblemimble  Female.gif wimblemimble is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 4463 days
Location: The Island
Age: 28
Posts: 741
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

And I would really consider not trashing the story idea. Do you have any idea how many stories published before Harry Potter have similar setups? At least four, as well as several others that have similar subplots. (Or, as it is with Wuthering Heights, have an entire plot turned into a subplot.)

It isnt' the idea, but the way you present the idea that really matters. So long as your story doesn't look like a patch-work quilt of other peopl'e stories, I don't think it should matter at all.

I would consider cutting things that are similar if they pose no real extreme importance to your book, but if things must stay don't sacrifice your idea because someone's already done it.


Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old June 13th, 2008, 9:53 am
HarryJPotter  Undisclosed.gif HarryJPotter is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4273 days
Posts: 18
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I've got a pretty bad one myself... I'm sure most of you have heard of the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, right? Well, if you've read them, then you know of a character named Jacob Black? Well, I started writing a story about a boy named Jacob Black when I was in the sixth grade... quite a few years before Twilight was ever published. The book is now complete and I've been submitting it to many different literary agents, but to pretty much no avail. One agent was nice enough to tell me why they wouldn't represent my book. She told me that my book's main character was already the name of a very popular character in the literary world and until I changed the name, almost no agent would touch my work because they see it as a form of plagerism. It'd be like if I'd named a character "Ron Weasley" or "Draco Malfoy"... I cried when she told me that, I was devistated. Just imagine... I've spent the better part of my life (almost ten years) writing about a character who's very real to me... one whose name I couldn't imagine as anything else. My character can't have any other name, he is Jacob Black. But, I'm thinking of changing it a bit, just tweaking the spelling so it wouldn't immediately register with people... Jakob Blaque... wuddaya think?


__________________
Buy my newly published book, "The Child of Light: Shadows Receeded" at Lulu.com!
http://www.lulu.com/content/1993240
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old June 13th, 2008, 1:49 pm
Wab's Avatar
Wab  Undisclosed.gif Wab is offline
The Next Great Adventurer
 
Joined: 5491 days
Location: Mornington Crescent
Posts: 15,280
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

If the name is the main impediment, I'd change it.


__________________
A patriot is someone who wants the best for his country, including the best laws and the best ideals. It's something other people should call you -- you shouldn't call yourself that. People who call themselves patriots are usually liars. -- Donald Woods

You got what anybody gets . . . You got a lifetime. -- Death of the Endless
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old June 13th, 2008, 5:20 pm
wimblemimble's Avatar
wimblemimble  Female.gif wimblemimble is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 4463 days
Location: The Island
Age: 28
Posts: 741
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I can see where you are coming from, with the name-- but you may consider changing it and repeating the new names over to yourself continuously. Eventually I think you may find that you like the new name better. The most likely reason you can't see changing his current name is that it is so familiar to you, but if you become familiar with a new one it shouldn't be too big of a deal.

Besides, you wouldn't want your character to immediatly be associated with Twilight anyway-- it would create character biases that would be hard to fix.


Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old June 13th, 2008, 5:57 pm
Luka13  Male.gif Luka13 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4345 days
Location: Missouri
Age: 25
Posts: 655
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I've never had something that I've come up with, turn out to be the same as someone else's idea.

And I'm quite lucky for the actually.


Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old June 20th, 2008, 7:57 am
theats  Male.gif theats is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4126 days
Location: Mooresville, NC
Age: 26
Posts: 15
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

Well, in my fantasy novel I am writing, I was re reading because i came back to it after a few months.

There is a scene were a proud and stubborn dwarf king is approached by a great dragon before his city is to be destroyed, and if The king will but submit to the Orc lord the dragon represented, and tha the remaining dwarfs would lay down their arms, then he would be spared.

The king says he will lay down his arms, and submit to the Orc lord's rule, just as soon as "he climbs over (his) smoldering (censored)". He then shoots the dragon with a long cocked crossbow the size of himself, shooting him up through the chin and through his brain and skull, and sending him toppling from attop a tower, falling a great hieght.

This reminded me MUCH of the 300 movie scene in which Leonidas is approached by the persian messenger, as well as the Odyssey in which the lead suitor of Penelope is killed in the same manor by Odysseus.

Now, I don't think it is similar enough to keep me from publishing whenever I get around to finishing.


Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old August 21st, 2008, 7:43 pm
katsumi's Avatar
katsumi  Female.gif katsumi is offline
Seventh Year
 
Joined: 5146 days
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 1,974
Re: Discovering your idea is already 'taken'

I think it depends on how much the story ressembles another. Nothing (or not much) we write is going to be 100% original, but if everything is borrowed, and none of the inspiration is actually yours, then it's not likely it'll get published. That's why submitting fan fiction doesn't fly.

Having said that, though, drawing inspiration from what's already been written is certainly nothing new. The greatest writers of all time have done it (think of Milton and Swift and countless others) and no one thinks less of them for it. Heck, Tolkien drew on a great deal of medieval literature for his inspiration (particularly the Old Norse stuff).

On a down note, I've just noticed that someone on these threads is writing a novel with the same title as my novel. *sigh* I've been racking my brain trying to think if I can come up with a title that suits it better. It can't be that original a title if two of us here are using it.


__________________

Watch the show Supernatural! It's the best show to grace the TV screen in years. I PROMISE!
Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Writer's Corner

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:01 am.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright Đ MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright Đ its respective owners.