So there was a novel that had some cool ideas and I really liked, but also there were many parts that made me annoyed mostly due to the genre, plot holes and inconsistencies and how they were done or used which affected the overall quality of the story. So while the ideas and story was good, there were clear parts that affected my satisfaction with the story and could have done better.

Now I was thinking of doing a similar story and reusing some of the ideas. The only problem is that while I am confident that I can change it up, there are quite a lot of parts I want to use from the story that inspired me, and while I can change them, the core idea is still there. Now if I was using just one idea it wouldn't be a big problem, but I want to use multiple ones from the original story some of these are cliches that have been used before, but some are also kind of unique to the original story so that using them together you would see the similarity.

However, I intend the overall story to take a different direction. For example, the original was a harem with poor and forced romance, while I am not going to do that and focus more on romance, but also I intend for my story to be at a slower pace and fill plot holes and avoid inconsistencies. Also I would be adding and changing a lot of the settings overall and put relevance on side characters.

  • 1
    what story would this be from? Oct 6, 2020 at 15:54
  • It's a korean webnovel, as for the specific story is that important cause I want to know more in general.
    – Dark
    Oct 6, 2020 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


Being inspired by a story is one thing, copying the exact plot is another thing. If you use the same story line, but tweak it to fill in holes or build out sub-plots, that's fan-fiction, like Chris said. There's a huge audience for that type of writing, but you probably shouldn't go publish and sell that type of story.

But here's what you can do:

Write it anyway.

You love a story but have some extra ideas? Write it! Writing what you love is the best thing a writer can do. Throw it on some fan fiction sites. Get some readers. Get some feedback.

Once you've written what you wanted to, you might want to take it further. Now you can make it your own. Tweak your characters' traits. Adjust the plot line. Change the setting. Erase a chapter and fill it in with something better. Edit, revise, and make it new.

It's better to write what you know and love than to feel like you need to be completely unique. You found some inspiration, so use that to your advantage. You might be surprised where that inspiration takes you.

  • Thing is though I don't intend to have it be the exact plot certainly there would be a lot similarities and the setting would be similar especially at the start. The main problem is that there are certain things I want to do at first I planned to remove these parts or change them completely, but realised I would not get the same effect I want to go for. Thanks though I guess it is better to see how it goes and how much I can change and build, I mostly just want to write the story for enjoyment just that if I share I don't want people hate me for it.
    – Dark
    Oct 8, 2020 at 13:34
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    I totally get that, I think that's a legitimate fear in every writer when putting their work out into the world. It sounds like you have a great direction to make the story your own. (plus, so many stories out there are based on fundamental concepts - tried and true ideas - and people still love it all.)
    – Gwendolyn
    Oct 8, 2020 at 14:52

There's a name for what you're proposing. It's called "fan fiction." Authors and publishers usually ignore it --perhaps even encourage it --as long as it's not monetized, but it's definitely a gray area. Fan fiction isn't my cup of tea, but there are plenty of people who love it --and whole communities that value it. Plus, many well-known writers have gotten their start in fan fiction. If you want, you can do a search to see if there's a fan-fiction community already around this work. Then you can just write the new bits, knowing that your audience will be familiar with the stuff you want to keep.

If you want to break out of the fan-fiction bubble, I would encourage you to stretch yourself a little further away from the source material. There were obviously things you thought were done well in the original. Why duplicate those, if the original author already did a good job?

Figure out what's central to the story YOU want to tell, and then change anything that doesn't directly impact that.

  • @Dark Edited this to respond to your comments on the other answer. Oct 8, 2020 at 16:31

I think it’s totally fine to use and twist authors ideas, as long as it’s not similar enough to be plagiarism. At this point in the writing world, no idea is completely original, no matter how much you may think it is.

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