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 To other writers out there

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TotallyAwesomeRumbleroar

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PostSubject: To other writers out there   Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:28 pm

Ok, this isn't exactly HP related, but I was wondering if any of you guys are also writers and if you ever come across this problem: I am currently writing a novel, and I will come up with am idea that I think is absolutely brilliant, but then I realize that I've seen that idea before, in Harry Potter. (Not only Harry Potter, but sometimes I find myself doing this with The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars) Unfortunately this happens to me all the time while writing, and even though I try my best not to copy other stories, this happens sometimes. I was just curious to see if this happens to any other writers.
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readergirl1028

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:39 pm

Oh, that happens to me ALL THE TIME. I try to write something, and I look back over it, and something will always be copied from a series I loved- a plot twist, a character, a quote, a phrase, a relationship.

I think this happens to everyone- I know Tamora Pierce (one of my favorite authors) won't read any stories her fans send in to her, or anything that hasn't professionally published, because she doesn't want to copy/be accused of copying something from the story.
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TotallyAwesomeRumbleroar

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:45 am

Ya. I'm kinda upset because I just realized that there's this one part of my story that's A LOT like something that happens in OotP (and it's a bit like something that happens in DH, and in LotR, and come to think of it, it's also a lot like something that happens in Star Wars). I'm trying to make it so it's not like that, but I realize if I do that, then I have to do this, and then my entire story will change. I'll have to work something out...
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NTonksAuror

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:56 am

That happens to me. I usually get this brilliant idea- inspired by a book I read, and once I start writing it, then realize the similarities. I kind of have a problem with continuing stories. I think I have near 50 saved on my computer, but most haven't gotten past a few pages. It's usually because I have another idea.

When this does happen to me I usually try to tweak it to make it less similar. Then that changes the plot and I get a brilliant idea for that new plot. That usually works for me. Sorry if that wasn't much help.
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muggleborn_

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:52 pm

This happens to me more with characters than plot ideas. -_- But I'm not sure if that's how I perceive it or if someone else would pick up the same thing. I have a bad habit of almost replicating the Trio more than any other literary characters (I think because I know them the best).

As for quotes, if I do that, I always make sure that I reference where they came from. For example, if I have a character quote Dumbledore, I have someone else come back and say something like, "Dumbledore said that!" Or something to that general effect.

I feel like I reference HP a lot in my work, anyway, since its impacted me so much. When I actually catch myself doing it, I always make sure to give credit where its due. :] That's how I feel better about it, anyhow. And since I really doubt I'll ever be published, I don't see it as mattering to anyone but me.
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TotallyAwesomeRumbleroar

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:19 pm

Ya, I have this one family in my book that at first was a lot like the Weasleys. I didn't mean too, because they were based off a family I knew.(Who I now realize is a lot like the Weasleys!) But I've changed it up so that they're pretty different from the Weasleys. And after I watched Star Wars the other day for the first time, I realized that my main character is quite a bit like Luke Skywalker. And there's this one character who I might add who's a lot like Bellatrix. And come to think of it there's this character who's kinda like Fred Weasley. He's not particularly funny, but he does have a bit of a Fred personality, and he's ginger, and he ends up dying. (I really like this character and I really don't want to kill him off, but I have to, because it's part of the plot.) And I can't really use Harry Potter references in my novel because it takes place in a different world. (though there is this part where it has the tiniest HP reference, and you probably wouldn't notice unless I pointed it out.)
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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:05 am

The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a new story; there's just a new ways of telling the ones that already exist. A lot of the themes that are in Harry Potter also appear in the Chronicles of Narnia, in Lord of the Rings, and even in the Bible.

Basically, every story ever told has one or a combination of a finite number of plots, which are outlined pretty well here: IPL's Basic Plots Archive. For example, Harry Potter's overall plot is a Quest, just like LOTR, His Dark Materials, and Narnia. What sets it apart from those stories, however, are the settings and the characters: Narnia is as different from Hogwarts as Middle Earth is from Lyra Belaqua's England. And then there are the characters. The closest any character in HP comes to being like a character from a similar series is Harry and Frodo; there's no character like Severus Snape or Hermione Granger in any of those series. (I suppose you could compare Dumbledore and Gandalf...)

So basically, just start a story by asking "What if...?", come up with a good setting (and don't think you have to make up an entirely new one from scratch, either; you can put it anywhere you want, in this world or not), and create some great characters (if they can answer these questions, you've got a good, well-rounded, developed character: 101 questions, but not all of them will apply.), decide what will happen in the course of the story (what will your character find out about him/herself? How will this affect them in the short term? The long run? What obstacles, both external and internal, will your character have to overcome to reach his/her final destination? Is this a personal journey, or will it benefit all of humanity (or whatever species your character is?)), and let your fingers do the talking from there.

Good luck with your novel!

P.S.: Some "real" writers will discourage this, but seriously, writing fanfiction is a great way to flex your writing muscles. If you have a plot you think might work, but you're not entirely sure where to take it (or you're still working on your OC's), make it a fanfic and put it on FanFiction.net. You'll get some great feedback (and not just the good reviews; if it's not being deliberately nasty or insulting, give consideration to a bad review. They may have a legitimate point about where your writing needs improvement [mine tends to lose plot threads, so I write fanfic to work on my plotting and pacing].) and a lot of practice in plotting, pacing, character development, anything that can (and will) crop up while you're writing your book.
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TotallyAwesomeRumbleroar

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:28 am

tenderlumpling wrote:
create some great characters (if they can answer these questions, you've got a good, well-rounded, developed character: 101 questions, but not all of them will apply.), decide what will happen in the course of the story (what will your character find out about him/herself? How will this affect them in the short term? The long run? What obstacles, both external and internal, will your character have to overcome to reach his/her final destination? Is this a personal journey, or will it benefit all of humanity (or whatever species your character is?)), and let your fingers do the talking from there.
Good luck with your novel!

Thanks! That really helped! I've been really discourage writing my novel lately, especially the plot. So it might be nice to take a break from the plot and develop my character more.
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NTonksAuror

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PostSubject: Re: To other writers out there   Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:09 pm

I know this is kind of old now, but that's really besides the point. Those 101 questions are really great, I'm in the middle of filling it out right now. Thanks. Smile

I think it was two years ago when the "writing bug" went around between my friends and I. One said she began writing and we all kind of jumped on the bandwagon. But I had always wanted to be an author- for as long as I can remember and I had been writing here and there for a while at that point, just never voiced my dream. So now that friend is the "honorary writer" and everyone, outside of our "group", considers her THE writer. I think that's what discouraged me and my writing for a while, seeing her get all the attention for writing and her novel's progress. And that's why I keep bouncing around ideas, but I found one that has finally stuck with me for a while.

Sorry, just had to get that out, it's been bugging me for a while now.

As for similarities between my writing and published works: It tends to happen to me, as I've said above somewhere, with characters more-so now. But I'll go back and asses them and realize that they're really all not that similar. It only seems that way because I was comparing them and only picking up on their similarities, not the differences.
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