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Is this concept too cliche/similar?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by UltimaBahamut93, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. UltimaBahamut93

    UltimaBahamut93 Dreamer

    I've been brainstorming a concept for a novel and even developing it I realized it had a lot in common with other material. I pitched the idea to my roommate and he even said that. The story I'm going for takes two protagonists that start out as enemies but eventually team up. Both are vampires. One of them hates what he has become and devotes himself to be a weapon for the Church (called the Temple of Light) by joining their Inquisition of witch hunters, seeking his soul's redemption. The other accepts his vampiric nature and cursed soul and has chosen to fight evil with evil, seeking to gain more dark powers rather than cleanse himself of tainted blood.

    The second character I mentioned hates evil (although using it as a weapon) and is sort of a vigilante, hunting down and feeding off of criminals and those who use dark powers. He mainly uses fear tactics and hunts during the night which is obviously similar to batman (he even wears a cape)

    I am a fan of anime and I even imagine this story in my head in an anime style. I find that my concept draws a lot from other anime sources. A vampire under the service of a Church to fight other vampires (like Hellsing Ultimate)
    using (blood) stones to increase magical abilities (like Full Metal Alchemist). I design a almost every character in a sort of gothic-victorian style of apparel which is another similarity to Hellsing Ultimate. And while not an anime, there is the classic werewolf vs vampire ordeal going on here too.

    I realize that it is near impossible to come up with an original idea but I'm wondering if this story and these characters are just lesser shadows of other already established works. It's something I noticed and was skeptical about and the first person I showed it to said the same thing.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  2. Yora

    Yora Maester

    At this point the idea is still very general and vague while a novel has lots of room to develop them into something much more elaborate. I think you can totally go with it, but you might keep an eye on that you actually take it into a new direction and do new things with it and not just repeat the same things that others have done with similar ideas before.
  3. UltimaBahamut93

    UltimaBahamut93 Dreamer

    I think that's right to say. And it's not like I think of already created works first and then try to build off of that, I make my ideas on my own but then realize after the similarities. I have this problem with music. I'll be riffing out on guitar thinking I'm making a cool song then only to realize later I'm using a lot of borrowed melodies without intending.
  4. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Cliche is just what someone calls a trope when it's executed poorly.

    Take your ideas, make them your own by putting your own unique perspective on them, and execute them well, and you'll be fine. Unless, something is almost an exact copy, don't worry about having similar elements.

    For example, one time after seeing an documentary on the Great Wall of China, I came up with this idea of a wall that protects all the known lands of the world from mythical creatures on the other side that no one believes are real and are called the Others.

    After scribbling this idea down, I had a friend tell me to read this awesome book called Game of Thrones. I did, and I wasn't too far in when I realized the similar elements.

    I almost set the story idea aside, but when I thought about it, the story I wanted to tell was nothing like Game of Thrones. it just had similar elements in the world. But the characters, the heart of the story, was and is completely different. So I didn't look back and went ahead and wrote it.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  5. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    Not quite. Cliche is just what someone calls a trope that they are personally tired of reading. So you ignore those people and focus on the ones that love the trope or are not familiar enough with it to be tired of it.
    Hallen and DragonOfTheAerie like this.
  6. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I saw a K-pop video once that put me in mind of five brothers who had been abandoned to the world by their father, an Old God. Is this story idea similar to something else? I dunno, probably. Do I care. No. Why? There are no new ideas, but there are unique authors with unique voices and unique twists on stories we've seen before. Write the book you are called to write, and don't worry about "clichés." Everything old is new again, eventually.
  7. Sounds awesome. Write it!!

    Please, please never let fear of cliche stop you from writing. Everything has been done before. We are ourselves just unoriginal jumbles of similar experiences. And that's good. Because stories wouldn't work otherwise.

    This is also a really cool idea, as in i've never had the urge to read a vampire novel till about now.
  8. Hallen

    Hallen Scribe

    Execution is everything.

    How many times has the Robin Hood story been told? How many times has Sherlock Holmes been told?
    Almost every detective-type show out there is Sherlock Holmes just with a slightly different schtick. Some are great, some are good, some suck. It's all in the execution.

    Give the same exact elements, characters, and basic plot to 10 different authors, and you will get 10 very different stories.

    So, don't worry about it. Write.
    Xitra_Blud likes this.
  9. Xitra_Blud

    Xitra_Blud Sage

    I don't think there's anything wrong with it. You'll find that everything has been done before in one fashion or another. What it's going to boil down to is how you execute it.

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