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Topic: Sigh someone beat me to the punch... and did it better than me.

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Subject: Sigh someone beat me to the punch... and did it better than me.
Date Posted: 3/30/2007 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I have a novella written about a police psychic. My problem is that I just read the first two books in the Abbey Cooper Psychic Eye series. Victoria Laurie does it sooooo much better than me. My solution is to fall back on what I do best....paranormal. Vampires, werewolves, withces etc. I will rearrange the story to allow for my favorite creatures and possibly make the story even better.

What would you do if you read a story that was simillar to one of yours but better?

Date Posted: 3/30/2007 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2007
Posts: 3,365
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Cry.  I guess once I got over it I'd do what you are planning to do. That does sounds like a good plan.   I'm sorry. I don't know what I'd do. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. 
Date Posted: 3/30/2007 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Its not as frustrating as it sounds actually. Ive wanted my novella to be a novel since I started writing it but I just cant make it longer. There is no reason to add anything else to it as it is but since a PROFESSIONAL PSYCHIC wrote the book about a psychic it is forcing me to change my story and make it better and probably full length.

It is frustrating that she did it better than me though.

Date Posted: 4/27/2007 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2007
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I know the feeling, I created talking baby veggies when I was 5, my mom remembers me writing short stories about them. But someone created Veggie Tales before I got old enough to actually write something decent without people thinking I had lost my mind.
Date Posted: 4/27/2007 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
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Jenn when I was a kid I saw an episode of Tales From the Darkside that has me creeped out by the Veggie Tale things. The plot was a woman who was trying to diet and having no success she tries everything but nothing works. Finally she orders one that is garunteed to work. Its a pair of glasses and a hearing aid. Her food starts talking to her and screaming in pain when she tries to eat it. Then the food develops faces and she can see the looks on their pitiful faces as she is eating. She sews her mouth shut and locks herself in her apartment and dies. So the whole talking veggies thing aint new. They are just as creepy though.
Date Posted: 5/17/2007 3:45 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 20
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Sorry that happened manny. That must have hurt since you've put so much time into it.

Date Posted: 5/17/2007 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Its not so much that it hurt but it sux that she does it better than me LOL. Im not very good at admitting that but they really are good books.

When I wrote the story origionally there was a vampire but I wanted my MC to be more believable so I took that out.

Date Posted: 6/14/2007 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2005
Posts: 8
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I know how you feel. I wrote a short story, planning for a series, about a young woman who works for a pulp publisher in the 50s and solves mysteries. Then I found out that there was already a series of mystery novels about a young woman, Paige Turner, who works for a pulp publisher in the 50s and solves mysteries. It's written in a completely different style than mine, so I can't really say whether it's *better* than mine (although being a finished and published series sort of automatically makes it better than my unsubmitted short story ;-) ), but the premise is so similar that I'd be afraid of plagiarism accusations--even though I didn't know that series existed until after I had already written the first story.

At first I did wish I had found out before I did a lot of research on pulp paperback publishing and New York in the 50s, but that part was more fun than the writing anyway. Perhaps that should have told me something. :-) And of course, good research never really goes to waste. I think a guideline from scholarly publishing could be helpful here: always do a literature search first to see how similar your idea is to what's already out there, even though you really want to hit the ground running with your cool idea.

Oh, I started another short mystery story about a woman who discovers that the serial murderer who has been terrorizing her old neighborhood was the guy who bullied her in elementary school, but then in real life the guy who used to bully me in elementary school was arrested and convicted of murder, so I don't feel comfortable using that one either.

Date Posted: 6/14/2007 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 20
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If you write from the heart you can't fail. We can't help but write about the things we already know--things that maybe someone else can relate to.  You can always fictionalize the characters and events.  Most problems could be taken care of by use of a disclaimer.

Just about anything written about, has been written about before.  Even most movies you see are the same stories told back then, only a little different with different people playing the part or done a different way. it's like a person that paints.  The artist might paint the same thing someone else does but it's his/her interpretation of it that makes it unique.You could vary it also by changing POV. I am not saying to copy someones work but realize it's impossible to not have something out there that's similar. It could be the story needs retelling from a new perspective.  It also could mean there's a time for everything.  I read that alot of authors (who are now well known) tried for years to publish stories they had, then after time passed by, someone saw them again and BOOm suddenly those same stories are very popular or even best sellers.

Both of your stories sound interesting to me. Hang in there.



Last Edited on: 6/14/07 2:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/14/2007 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 20
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I wrote a short story recently and I cant even count on my fingers how many times i've gone back and revised it, but also changed certain details.  So far it's grown to eight pages long. I'm kind of thinking I might use it within a long story though since it might raise alot of unanswered questions left by itself.  I kept both versions of it though. 

It seems like when you write, it's a good idea to not look at your work  for several days or several weeks.  Then when you go back you look at it with new eyes and see where it might need editing.  I

I was published recently for a short story called The Orange. The main part of it is a flashback. It's difficult to look at it without wondering if it' feels complete for the reader.   Originally it was to be part of a ..yes...long story. LOL 

Date Posted: 6/18/2007 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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LOL The Paige Turner books are good. I love the name. Anywho my style isnt the same as this author either. They just have similar plots and she does the psychic thing better than me. I do like the books. I have reviews of three of her books on my profile.

Date Posted: 7/5/2007 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/4/2007
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I think I would take it as a sign from 'fate' that the book I'd written wasn't MY book.  Writing really is a part of me, a part of my life.  If someone else is capable of telling my story..well, then...something isn't right.  If the other author was able to tell the story better, it would really highlight that the story was 'theirs' instead of my own.

I'd do just what you are doing- go back and make the story my own.

Date Posted: 8/7/2007 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/21/2007
Posts: 95
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This was my lament several years ago when psychic literature starting taking off.  I had developed an entire plotline for a novel back in the mid-1970s surrounding a person who could communicate with the date who got embroiled in his grandfather's murder.

How many times have you seen that plot since then?!?!  I think it would sound hackneyed by now.

Someday maybe I'll rework it.

It just goes to show you:  have faith in your own ideas and persist until they're in finished form!

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 272
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I have started a few novels that i have found were brought to mind from another book i had read.  the one i am writing now is an idea i have yet to read, so i hope it works.  after i realized i was writing the similar plots and ideas of another book already published, i said to myself i said, "Self, if u try to put this one out, they are gonna laugh at you" . them myself said to me, "you might be right, then again, everyone says you are crazy".  so i turned the pages of the simliar story around and made a comedy.  i seem to have a knack for funny. 

If it was up to me, manny, i'd say write away. you never know how your mind is gonna go.  it might lead you in a totally different direction that what u had first intended.  maybe reading one similar and what you feel is better will give you ideas for something entirely new.  I say KEEP GOING!!! but then again, that could be my self telling me to tell you that. who knows.

cheers!!!

Date Posted: 8/23/2007 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Well right now those characters dont wanna play so Ive been working on shorts. I do have an idea for the book though and Im formulating in my head. That takes me a bit. Usually from concept to paper (or in my case computer) it takes me about a month to get an idea down. I like to play with them in my world for a while before I put them in the real world.

Subject: I so understand and have a quesiton :)
Date Posted: 3/10/2008 3:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2007
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I'm so with you. I about cried when I went to B&N and saw someone with a book that looked almost exactly like what I was writing.

Are you interested in coming on my podcast and talking about this subject because I think a number of people feel this way but very few are as practical as you by going...that's ok...I can twist this plot and make it MY story!

Please let me know!

Kimi

Date Posted: 3/10/2008 10:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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I just saw a movie preview that seemed very similar to a story I'm working on.  I'll probably have to see the movie to make sure my plot isn't too similar.  It was very frustrating!!

 

 

Date Posted: 3/12/2008 12:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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First off *sighs* please no more vampire and werewolf books, they have been sooo done in so many ways.

I would stick to your idea, work it well and see how it goes. Just because your story is like another might actually make it better to sell. Plus how you see things is different then any other author will write.

As others have said, write what is inside of you, do not change it just because someone else has a similar book, more then likely their is already a vampire or werewolf book similar to the one you might want to write. Its just the way of the world in publishing books now days.

Also, if you are anything like me, nearly everyone seems to turn out better stories then what I can but I still get asked to write more. How we view our writing is not how others see it.

Always follow your dreams :)

And no one can steal an idea.

Subject: similar stories
Date Posted: 3/12/2008 6:25 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
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I think if you read the same story from say a handful of writers,  Each version would be so different in style and some might not be as easy for you to read/understand, while others might appeal to you more.  

Think of it as painting a picture with words. Your world of imagery might not be the same as anothers, and maybe sensory rich. The other author might have done it very well and it was accepted well too, but that doesn't mean your story is any less because of that.. I'd write the story anyway, submit it, and editors witll tell you what needs fixing, if anything.    If not, there could come a time that you can figure out what else you might do with it.

Date Posted: 4/24/2008 5:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Holy cow I didnt realize my old posts were still in here. Nor did I realize this forum had gained so much attention.

Anywho I dont think there are too many vampire novels out there. I think there are too many people trying to rewrite Anita Blake novels. I think (and everyone who has read the rewrites so far have said) that its not similar to any story written about vamps and weres.

My problem was that my story was too similar to the Victoria Laurie books. I did the research by watching TV shows and reading books about police psychics. She is a psychic so she has a more in depth explanation most of the time but the events were uncannily similar.

Date Posted: 4/24/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 12
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I wouldn't give up, you can always make a twist or turn to it that makes it unique. I mean look at fantasy, nearly ALL fantasy books are about the same thing (Good vs. Evil, saving the destruction of the world, dwarves elves dragons etc.)...yet authors figure out how to make theirs stand out. I;d stick to it
Date Posted: 4/25/2008 1:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Well theres no point now its totally different and its better plus with the changes I'll be able to call it a novel and not a novella cause Ive already added a good 100 pages and Im not done yet.