General Question

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Has this type of book already been done?

Asked by ChocolateReigns (5619points) March 13th, 2010

This morning I got an idea for a book, and I really think I could get pretty far into it. I’ve been thinking I’d submit it to Inkpop if I’m satisfied with it when it’s done (I realize this might not be for years). But I’d hate to get all into it and discover it’s already been done. So this is the basic idea of it:
There are three different people that have a mutual friend that has just died, or maybe is dying.
You’re reading their journals and blogs
They don’t know each other, but towards the end they start to get to know each other and comfort each other as their mutual friend is dying.

So does this ring any bells? If it’s already been done, I’ll probably just write it to get this nagging idea out of my head.

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10 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

You should really keep your ideas to yourself.
Do the research on your own to find out if it’s been done already.
You’re exposing your idea to hundreds of people, some of which are writers. Not smart. I’m surprised as a writer, you don’t know that.

Jeruba's avatar

I haven’t run across a book that used this idea. But my sense of it is that this is a productive one and that you could go ahead and write it, and it wouldn’t be anything like what someone else has written.

However, @Vunessuh is right that if you want it to stay original you probably shouldn’t post it in a worldwide forum. Someone else could cross the finish line with it first and then claim you stole it from them. If you do ever have a book to sell, market research will be part of your responsibility anyway, not the publisher’s.

If you slant it from your own angle—that of a 13-year-old with friends the same age—and make it realistic for an audience of your peers, you could really have a winner, provided that you write it well, with good technique and honest feeling.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@Vunessuh and @Jeruba I thought about that (the keeping my ideas to myself thing), but I assumed that this won’t go very far at all, and I tried to keep it as vague as possible.

janbb's avatar

Sounds like an intriguing plot line to me and one that I haven’t heard. It would all depend on the treatment of course.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The basic idea is a good one, but without knowing the characters and how you plan to interweave the journals/blogs, it’s impossible to say how good the execution might be.

figbash's avatar

It sounds like a great idea and I haven’t heard anything like it before. You could also take it in many directions.

Jeruba’s right, though. Definitely Google the heck out of this stuff and research it before you post anything like this. Otherwise, your idea will get gobbled up quickly.

arnbev959's avatar

Even if something like it has been done before, it sounds like a cool idea, and no matter what, it will be unique. Every idea has been done before in some form, but your novel has never been written.

Epistolary novels (well, any novels) can be tough to write. But if it’s something you want to do, do it!

lillycoyote's avatar

It sounds like a pretty interesting concept, not one I’ve ever really heard of, but in the end, “ideas” for books, for stories, are not what really matters, it’s the execution, the writing, the “telling of the tale,” what you bring to the story and to the characters as an author, that makes one book good and another not so good. A lot of very good books, and some of the greatest works in literature are based on some pretty simple “ideas.” There aren’t too many stories that haven’t already been told. It’s how you tell them that counts, I think.

thriftymaid's avatar

Yes, there have been books written under this construction. Don’t let that stop you.

jrpowell's avatar

1984 and Brave New World manage to thrive in the same library.

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