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View Full Version : Idea scoopage: how not to rewrite someone else's book



meddyK
02-28-2010, 11:31 PM
Hey guys,
For any of you out there brainstorming new fiction book ideas and wondering if your idea is really unique, I blogged about the ways you can search to make sure your ideas aren't already out there (or about to be published by someone else).

I would really welcome comments if you have any other ideas!

http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/2010/02/idea-scoopage-how-not-to-rewrite.html

Stormhawk
03-01-2010, 02:54 AM
Most things have been done before, but a new story could bring new perspectives or introduce new ideas into a style of story, even if the basic premise has been covered by others.

meddyK
03-01-2010, 03:02 AM
Very good point. As someone commented on the blog, "There are no new ideas, just ideas rediscovered and given fresh perspectives."

Unfortunately, I have a few friends who have written manuscripts where certain plotlines and overall themes were too close to something already out there, and hence were not picked up by agents.

It's not about reinventing the wheel. Just making sure your wheel is unique in its own way.;)

Dorian W. Gray
03-01-2010, 06:09 AM
The blogger is right. There aren’t really any new plot lines. The key is to tell the same plotlines/stories in a unique way that only your mind can come up with, if you can come up with it.

Question you have to ask: is my idea really original, or have I, subconsciously, borrowed it from someone else’s book/novel/idea.

Unless you are forcing (a very bad idea) your story/novel, there shouldn’t be any reason for you to think or question that your story/novel has been told in a similar way, already. It couldn’t have been, because you have just invented it.

Therefore, I think it is silly to waste time searching if ‘your’ story has been already told, and even sillier to read about how to do it! Sorry.

Dorian

meddyK
03-01-2010, 08:53 AM
I agree with much of what you say here. But storylines and plots can be "just invented" again and again. Like you said, most plots aren't new. If you have enough similarities with an existing novel where the market starts to get oversaturated with certain ideas, then even if the writing is fresh and new, the publishing world may not be interested. And as everyone knows, agents and publishers are more selective than ever these days.

I'm just saying it would be heartbreaking to finish a book and query it, only to be told that it's got too many similar elements to a book that's already out there. If this happened to me and I didn't know this beforehand, I'd be kicking myself.

I think this post may be more relevant to certain genres or subgenres, like YA urban fantasy, as an example. It may not be relevant in other genres where the search terms might be too broad, or in character-driven literary fiction.

seun
03-01-2010, 05:26 PM
Hey guys,
For any of you out there brainstorming new fiction book ideas and wondering if your idea is really unique, I blogged about the ways you can search to make sure your ideas aren't already out there

You could read a lot. ;)

kaitie
03-01-2010, 05:52 PM
I try to be aware of what's been done and then actively try to do something different. Not sure how well it works. ;) I think it turns out pretty original, though.

Lady Ice
03-01-2010, 11:16 PM
I think the test is to look back on the work a month or so after reading/watching the inspiration. A lot of my stuff died in the process because they were practically homages and not stories in their own right. However some of them have elements of books/films with some spins and mixes.