View Full Version : Ideas And timing

12-02-2009, 01:16 PM
Recently I was working on a new idea for a short 5 book story arc. It was going to be a simple story of a town in the wild west of America being visited by an erie stranger, and th destruction he brings to the town. It would also entail the realization that he is more than man he's a vampire.
Now I recently read that Stephen king was going to be working on a series slated for release in March of 2010 that runs very similar. It also features a wild west setting involving a vampire.

This brought me to thinking about wheather or not idea should be worked on when a similar title will be coming out, and bow you avoid issues of scrutiny towards plagerism and un-originality.

How do you avoid issues like that when somewhere someone else is writing a story that is similar to something you are writing?

Your thought..

Fred Duran
12-02-2009, 02:03 PM
A few years ago, my high school English teacher told me something along the lines of this: in the entirety of the known world, there are maybe 100 completely original, never-been-thought-of, 100% legitimately new and unused ideas. And of those 100, MAYBE 2 are worth a damn. Everything you read, see, or even write, 99% of the time, is going to draw from other things you've read, seen or written, even if it's subconsciously so.

With that in mind, to answer your question, don't worry about it. No two people handle the same idea identically; if you and I were given the same exact prompt, we'd come up with two different stories.

Also, keep in mind that there's a vast difference between "similar" and "the same." Similarity is something that can be argued and debated, while being the same is a whole different story. For example, one could argue that in some aspects Batman and Sherlock Holmes are similar - but are they the same? Hell no.

So, as long as your story and this other story are similar and not the same, you shouldn't hear any whispers of plagiarism or any of that stuff (at least not from anybody with the power to do anything about it).

At least that's how I look at it.


12-02-2009, 02:20 PM
There's plenty of Wild West vampire stories already out there. Including the BloodRayne movie sequel and an indie comic called The Blood Rider.

What's interesting is the Stephen King book will be published by Vertigo...up to now he's had a pretty exclusive relationship with Marvel.

12-02-2009, 02:26 PM
Thanks guys, excellent advice.I was unaware of the nloodrayne sequel, or the blood rider.

And I do see your point in the same vs. Similar argument. Very much appreciated.

Have you heard of the book about the 32 original story ideas?? It basically brakes down all stories into I of 32 ideas or plots. Essentially saying that no story is truly original.

12-02-2009, 02:46 PM
I'm trying to think of how to word this.

Your story may not be "original" (i.e., you may want to do a wild west vampire story while that has been done and will most likely be done again), but that's just a small part of what makes up your story. The characters, their motivations, personalities, and interactions -- that's where the key to an original story lies.

The theme or setting might be similar, but it won't be the same story.

Take, for example, vampires, love, and high school. You have Buffy, you have Twilight, you have The Vampire Diaries -- all the same, but at the same time all different.

Or another example, teenage superheroes. Spiderman, Invincible, Superboy, Robin, Teen Titans, Runaways....the same, but different.

12-02-2009, 04:36 PM
Go for it.

If it's similar, you can even ride the wave it creates.

The Anti-crest
12-02-2009, 06:46 PM
Go for it.

If it's similar, you can even ride the wave it creates.
I used to work within the hip hop scene and there was this dude who said his goal in life was to ride the waves of other, more ambitious artists. It made me sick and I wanted to gut him.

Go fot it, is right. But try to create your own waves.

Nothing is truely original but you can always tell a story unlike anybody else. What you want people to walk away with, isn't a story that is brand spanking new but raher a perspective on the human condition that is new. Think about what you want to say and say it.

12-02-2009, 07:13 PM
When I say ride the wave, it doesn't mean shine in other people's glory, but work hard and put out something with the help of that wave.

Look at the zombie genre... As long as you have something good, go ahead and jump in.

The Anti-crest
12-02-2009, 07:58 PM
When I say ride the wave, it doesn't mean shine in other people's glory, but work hard and put out something with the help of that wave.

Look at the zombie genre... As long as you have something good, go ahead and jump in.

Yeah, that works. Just had to clarify.

12-02-2009, 08:18 PM
I just left a George Lucas comment in another thread, but what you're saying reminds me of George Lucas story I heard (honestly, I can't remember if I saw an interview with Lucas, Spielberg, or a 3rd party telling it, but here it is).

Basically, Lucas was worried that since Spielberg would be releasing Close Encounters of the Third Kind before Star Wars, his "sci-fi movie" would be an also ran to Spielberg's.

Well, we all know how that turned out.

Don't worry. Write the story you have in you. If it's YOURS, then that's all that matters.

12-02-2009, 09:41 PM
I appreciate all the solid advice guys. I suppose it's all very true that no idea is actualy "original."

and god bless George Lucas for not having the same issue I am having at the moment, because whilst close encounters was great. The first three Star wars were Bomb.

Anyhow I plan to make and rose the vampire waves as much as can be done (so no gutting is needed)

12-02-2009, 09:51 PM
I had something like this happen to me about a month back. I was working on a series called Demonic where a crazy guy who dresses up like a demon goes around killing people he thinks are criminals (They're usually innocent, he's just a paranoid delusional). I even showed off the premise and concept art on DW back in September. About a month ago, there's an announcement of Robert Kirkman's new series that will be coming out soon. If you haven't heard about it, it's called Demonic and it's about a guy who goes around killing people while looking like a demon.

But, since I have some great artists working on the book already, I won't scrap it. Instead, I'm going to come up with a new name and we've altered the costume so it doesn't look as much like Kirkman's guy. The entire idea is about a superhero who does more harm than good, which has always been the main focus, so the only problem is I need to make sure no one sees it as a rip off.