Too Much Inspiration?

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by Adambo, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Adambo

    Adambo New Member

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    When does a story go from having taken inspiration from another story to having stolen things from it? I ask because someone recently told me that my books "Legends of the Saloli" take too much out of Erin Hunter's "Warriors" series. "Warriors" actually happens to be the story that inspired "Saloli". And yes, when I look back now, I can see a lot of resemblance between the two. Both stories revolve around four tribes of animals living in a forest. One tribe (both of which are named after darkness, no less) wants to take over the forest. An outsider is brought into one of the tribes to help stop the threat. Saloli breaks away a lot, I think, when it really goes into the religious aspects of the story, but I'm afraid people may not make it that far before writing it off as a Warriors rip off. What do you think? Have I overstepped the line between inspiration and thievery?
     
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  2. fairieswriter

    fairieswriter New Member

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    I've had some people say that mine is a lot like Harry Potter and Narnia, but different enough that they didn't think it was thievery. I have to admit that I never read Narnia...I just couldn't get into it. I did read the Harry Potter series though. I do see similarities...contemporary fantasy and a school like setting, although mine is a military fairy school, and the main character is the only human. You may say I ripped off Star Wars with the Light and Dark. But all fantasy has a light side and a dark side. I do give a nod to several authors with funny things inside the story. Some of the authors are Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rollings (forgive me if I misspell these!), George Lucas, Tolkien, and all of mythology writers all together! Yet, people can read into things and find stuff that I didn't even notice. After all, nothing is new under the sun. Harry Potter is actually extremely similar to another book that was written before it...sadly, I can't recall the name at the moment.

    I haven't read Warriors, but my son has. He didn't like it as much as the G'hoole (spelling?) series. If the tribes are similar, it may have gone too far. I don't really know. I downloaded your book. I'll have to see if my son can read it quickly and let you know his thoughts.
     
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  3. Adambo

    Adambo New Member

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    Thanks! I'm also reading Guardians of Ga'Hoole so I can finally watch the movie, but so far I'm not enjoying it as much as I did Warriors (although I seem to have outgrown the cats, lol).
     
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  4. fairieswriter

    fairieswriter New Member

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    My boys hated the movie, saying it was nothing like the books. I get so mad when Hollywood does that!
     
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  5. Anya Yana

    Anya Yana New Member

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    This is such a tricky area, isn't it?
    You really need to be careful you are not stepping into legal territory and infringing copyright laws.
    Who published the other books?

    Of course, I believe we get inspiration from other works of art. But if it is that identical, I would certainly consider pulling it for a re-write just to make sure it is not too close for comfort.
    However, it seems like you have got some good reviews. So, if too many people start giving you that critique and ruining your book sales, then I would take action possibly and put out another edition. It has not happened yet though, has it?
     
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  6. Traci B

    Traci B New Member

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    We all take inspiration from numerous sources when we write, whether we do it consciously or not. We don't exist in a vacuum, so of course we are going to write things that include recognizable elements. If you didn't intentionally lift ideas or actual passages from the Warriors books, I say don't worry about it.
     
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  7. Anya Yana

    Anya Yana New Member

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    Yes!
    Our creativity functions deep from the unconscious. Doesn't it?
    However, if I was a newly published author and several people are saying the book is a rip off of another sequel, I would definitely re-think it.
    On the other hand, if you did not do it purposely you should not worry.
    Yet, I would still check the legalities.
     
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