Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Should I Trunk My Idea?

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

Today’s topic: What story ideas have you trunked because they were too similar to published/well-known stories?

I’m lucky to say that I haven’t trunked anything. Yet. That’s not saying I’ll never will, but so far I’ve been lucky.

Confession time: The Assassin Project could very easily fall into the trunked category, if I’m not careful. There were initially a lot of similarities between my story involving an academy of assassins and the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter. Because of this, I haven’t drafted Assassin Project. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on how to make my story different.

That’s what needs to be done when a story idea is too close to something that is out there. You have to see how you can make yours unique.

I forget who said it (and I might be misquoting horribly), but there’s only two types of stories: someone goes on a quest and a stranger comes to town. When you only have two ideas to go from, there will definitely be places where things overlap. The important thing is how you present it.

With that in mind, it’s exercise time. I’ll give you an opening sentence and you write a paragraph in the comments. The opening sentence is…

The doorbell buzzed seconds after minute.


  1. I can see an academy of assassins as being a lot different than Gallagher girls. Way more serious in tone, and the lines between good guy/bad guy could be skewed more.

    Or...You could do it dystopian and have it not be clear whether or not the assasins (who are maybe picked/forced to be there) are being raised for a just or bad government.

  2. I've had many moments of holding my breath whilst seeing books that I thought might be similar but turned out not to be.

  3. Now you've got me thinking up all the movies and books I've ever read to fit under the categories "someone goes on a quest and a stranger comes to town".

    I agree that with all the similar ideas floating out there, all based on those two notions, we're going to have some overlap. But we all thankfully have our own way of telling a story.

  4. That's so true about the two types of stories.

    And I totally think you could do an academy of assassins thing. I haven't read Ally Carter's series, but I'm willing to bet that you could make yours different enough to be interesting.

  5. I haven't trunked anything yet either only because there will always be similarities when I compare my story to others. But also something unique. And I just have to make sure the unique stands out. :)

  6. There really are only a handful of basic storylines (and I think Shakespeare covered them all!), so the odds of you writing something that's kind-of-like something else are too great to let it bother you. Just write something amazing! :)


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