Monday, September 6, 2010

What's the Norm?

Recently, I came up with a great opening paragraph for a short story I have been working on. Last night, I was thinking about that paragraph and how it would relate in my novel. Both for character development and for curiosity in the reader.

But here lies my problem...I want to use both, though slightly changed and used in a different context, for the novel and the short story.

Maybe some other writers can shed some light on this for me.

On one hand, it's not plagiarism because it's my piece. But at the same time it seems lazy. And then there's the fact that as I was working on the short story, I could totally see it as a novel length piece at some point. And it would be totally retarded to use a similar opening for three different projects, two of which would be novels. There's a perfect example of unoriginality. Someone would notice.

But between short story and novel, would anyone really notice? And there's no guarantee that either would ever be published. On the flip side, what if they are both published. Is the short story far enough away from the novel that no one would notice. Or maybe they wouldn't make the connection.

I suppose I could change it more so it wasn't as recognizable.

What would you do?


  1. They probably wouldn't notice. That's my opinion. Unless you're talking about an unusual subjects like hummingbirds or cactus.


  2. A lot of novels are based off of short stories the author had once written. Even movies can be made that Tim Burton had Jack Skelington in the movie James and the Giant Peach long before Nightmare Before Christmas was out. You are in control, so do what you feel is right!!


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