20

The only caveat I would offer to mixing SF and fantasy is not to scramble the level of technology. We are all steeped in Papa Tolkien's example of fantasy, which is Middle Ages technology and pastoral Merrie Olde England settings. This level of industrial advancement doesn't mix well with Star Trek spaceships. So there are a few things you could do to ...


16

Being original is more than just avoiding what everyone else is doing. In a sense, doing exactly what everyone else is doing, and doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing are equally derivative --both are just reactions to what you've read before. What readers are actually looking for is a unique sense of you as an author. That's something which ...


15

You know when you are going against the conventions too much when you are feeling forced to go against the conventions just for the sake of going against the conventions. The work then starts to feel like hard work to not be like everyone else instead of putting the effort into meaningful progression of the plot and working on the character traits of your ...


15

TL;DR: Your story will inevitably be compared to Harry Potter purely because of how iconic and influential it is within the "magical school" genre, but I definitely wouldn't say it's too similar. The story takes place in a fictional country I created. Harry Potter takes place in England. So that's a big difference right off the bat. There are 6 main ...


13

Many stories share similarities. If one story is about a school, it doesn't mean that no story ever again can be about a school. If one story is about magic, it doesn't mean that other stories can't also be about magic. Michael Ende had a story about a school of magic before Rowling did. Both are perfectly fine. There are multiple stories about dragons, ...


12

The novel I'm writing is actually along this vein, and I had the same thought as you: it appears to be a portion of the market that is yet to be fully recognized and tapped into. Whilst it definitely exists, not a lot of mainstream fiction seems to explore the vast possibilities of combining these two distinct yet similar genres. Media are generally ...


12

Harry Potter wasn't particularly original -- see Anthony Horowitz Groosham Grange for a school to teach witchcraft in an otherwise ordinary world. The Hunger Games had precedents like Battle Royale. Romance and vampires have often been put together. Originality was not the secret to the success of these books. Appealing to the market with characters that ...


10

To add to a number of a very good points, already brought up here, consider this: Any technology which is advanced enough can and will likely be considered magic by a less tech-developed society. If you consciously approach this from the point of view of unreliable narrator, you might just provide yourself with a potent delivery mechanism for your ...


10

There is nothing new under the sun, my friend. If you read TV Tropes you might be forgiven for thinking that all plots are like all other plots. However it is not the plots (there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway) but the characterisations, details, names etc that make your world unique to you. If you are worried that you have by ...


9

A few years ago I was like 13 and I posted some characters I made up and I really love them. If the stolen characters are still recognisably the same characters from that post, then you have incontrovertible, time-stamped proof that you are their original creator. If you still have screenshots of your correspondence with her (or access to them to take ...


9

What I want in a story is a character I care about facing an issue I face and struggling with that issue. You say you have humans on another planet using magic. And it's fantasy. It sounds like fantasy to me. I have humans on another planet. And they are genetically modified to have remarkable abilities (and have access to remarkable pharmaceuticals). I ...


8

Complete originality is a bit of a wild goose chase. Neither Lord of the Rings, nor Game of Thrones nor Star Wars takes place in a completely original setting. They've all borrowed extensively from various sources. LOTR is based in large part on old myths, GOT is a fairly typical medieval-themed fantasy world and Star Wars is quite consciously a fairy ...


8

if I intentionally go against the genre conventions - for any genre, not just fantasy - where do I draw the line? I believe there are two types of conventions for any genre. Some are essential - without them, you don't have the specific genre you're after. Some are traditional - tropes, clichés or smart twists on those. Feel free to drop the traditional ...


7

Consider that the theme in author A's book that is inspiring you was almost certainly found by author A in author B's work and inspired them, and so on. What's important is that you find a unique and original way to weave a story around that theme. For instance: Humble, unremarkable individual finds, quite by accident, some supremely important object ...


7

Originality isn't contained merely in what populates your fantasy world. In fact, I'd say that's one of the least important elements to an original story. You can have a new, fresh, original story in a setting with the old tired elves, dwarves and orcs (look at JourneyQuest, for example), and you can have an old, predictable story in a world populated by ...


6

The only works that are truly original are by people who've never had any contact with other people. Every work has inspiration from other works, or ideas that are present in other places. Many excellent works don't even have novel plots. As for legal repercussions, "ideas" are not protected by law. Only the expression of the idea is protected by copyright. ...


6

[Not a lawyer], but did you keep any of the exchange between the two of you in writing (e-mail, text message, etc.)? Saying she had more right because she was better at art could be taken an admission she was not the original creator - but at this point you'd be best consulting a legal professional. It might also depend how and where things were posted - ...


6

For me the point of interest is not the pursuit of immortality but why she's pursuing it. To be that bent on living forever she must have either strong history that makes that goal worth such dogged pursuit and/or plans for what to do with the time it grants her. Either way those past and/or future motives are the points where she's compelling and relatable ...


5

tl;dr: Don't worry too much about another person "stealing" your characters. Even if she uses your names and your visual descriptions, chances are that her interpretation of your character are distinctly different from the character you developed in the first place. The problem gets even smaller when you and her use different types of art to work with the ...


5

"I am writing a story about a boy and a girl who are in love, but can't be together. Is my story too similar to Romeo and Juliet?" See what I mean? Many stories share similarities. If one story is about a school, it doesn't mean that no story ever again can be about a school. If one story is about magic, it doesn't mean that other stories can't also be ...


5

There is a theory that all stories basically boil down to either the same 6-7 things*, or all stories are retellings of the Hero's Journey. *E.g. Man vs man, man vs nature, man vs himself, going somewhere and returning (etc.) Which doesn't really mean anything, except that if your categories are broad enough eventually you can cram everything into them. ...


4

Let me answer this in a more practical fashion: Let's say you've written a Hero's Journey, which has a standard pattern. And as you read over your work, you realize "this sounds a lot like Star Wars!" (Not unreasonable, since Lucas followed Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces pretty closely.) Find the first element which strikes you as unoriginal, and ...


4

The readers of SciFi and Fantasies have different structural and trope expectations in their books. They are often ABOUT different things. Threading the needle that satisfies both in the same book will be difficult but far from impossible. Once you get away from those structural elements, the idea of mixing technology and magic is not a problem. I would ...


4

Well, as almost anything regarding readers, it depends. Fantasy and sci-fi are broad genres. They have several subgenres each, and not every subgenre on each one caters to the entire public that reads sci-fi or fantasy. When you are mixing sci-fi and fantasy, you are actually mixing up subgenres of the two, and that combination may or may not work in your ...


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