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Writing Books/Book Idea- Done before?


I have some budding ideas for a Sci-Fi book.  Is there any way to know if it is something that has been written before.  I cannot remember reading anything like it, though my list of red books is not that large, and I think they may be orriginal ideas, but I am wanting to make sure as to not be accused of plagurism.  Is this something I should worry about now or should I just write and see what happens?

Thanks for your time,

Hello Matthew:

The only way I know of for you to determine if your ideas have been used before would be to read every SF book that has ever been published and every story, novella, etc.

Here's the good news. Ideas are not copyrightable. (Is that a word?) Only characters and the actual text of the book are copyrighted.

I wouldn't worry about it. Just write and see what happens. Make sure that the bulk of the book consists of your slant on the idea. Don't choose the first thing you think of, because it is bound to be a cliche. Think of 3-4 other things and pick the 5th. That way, you've got a chance it will be original.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 500+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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