View Full Version : "I can only do this once" - Do you have this problem?

07-17-2011, 05:03 PM
I'm writing fantasy. Currently working on one series and have ideas for several others in the future.
A problem that I've run into is when and where to use meaty ideas.

One is the idea of literal demigods walking the earth, conquering and bending it to their will. While it is material for an entire series I have some radically different ideas on what to do with the concept.
Another is my personal take on the old Evil Doppelganger trope. There are several different characters I would like to see square off against their mirror opposites, and the concept could fit into several different series.

I feel that doing different variations of these ideas would make people feel I was phoning it in, but on the other hand I hate leaving behind a good concept, even in pursuit of another one.

Is this a common problem in writing?

07-17-2011, 05:27 PM
I have some things that come together like that, but what I do is make them part of the same world. Sort of parallel series. Don't sweat it too much right now, work on one series and go from there, writing down all the ideas you have for your various ideas.

07-17-2011, 05:34 PM
I usually find that it's only repetitive if it isn't focused on - if it's a form of bad writing rather than an actual concept that you are aiming for. For example, if the MC of a fantasy novel travels through his/her world fighting big evil monster after big evil monster, for no reason other than the author likes writing fight scenes, then it can get repetitive and rather pointless.

As long as you differ the meetings between the evil twins (not all of them fighting their twin to the death), it could work quite nicely. Try and make it so the reader knows that it is likely that the twins will meet, so that when it happens they don't feel as if an "oh no, my evil twin" situation has been forced on them, despite them being able to see it a mile off.

Sorry if that was poorly explained. Words seem to be failing me today.

07-17-2011, 08:34 PM
Those may be tired tropes in themselves, but you can change that. Make them your own and your story will be richer for it.

07-17-2011, 08:49 PM
A true doppelganger has nothing to do with evil twins [which is an extremely simplistic take on the gothic trope]. See RL Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or The Master of Ballantrae.

Little Ming
07-17-2011, 09:48 PM
I get where you're coming from, especially when I want to use a big plot twist or a reveal. I'm worried if I use something similar later on the readers are either going to figure it out too easily (because I've done it before) or roll their eyes (because I've done it before). :(

Margarita Skies
07-17-2011, 11:43 PM
No, I don't have that problem, at least when it comes to novels. I find that if I did it once I can do it again. :)

07-18-2011, 02:59 AM
I know what you mean. I have a magic system that would work for several different story lines. I don't want to look like I'm recycling the magic system so in the end I've had to pick one. Icerose is right, you could just make them different stories set in the same world (I've seen this done quite a few times). I'm considering doing this. One of my potential stories (well, not potential, as it's the one I'm going with) is a modern day action-adventure story. Another potential story is a school sort of thing (I've wanted to do this since reading mangas like Mx0, Strawberry 100%, etc.) so I think I'll just invent another character and write a story of them going to an arcane school in the same world.