Already it sounds like your concept diverges significantly from the source!
If the split varies so much, then I doubt that there's much to worry about.
And in any case, splitting a large cast is so ubiquitous that I'd say that it's hardly specific to any given fandom!
Unless we're to call the source-works rip-offs of, say, The Lord of the Rings. :P (Or some other work that similarly splits its cast.)
That said, if you want to differ even more, you could perhaps change the size of your cast, and thus the numbers that factor into it. Maybe something divisible by five?
You mean like, say, Gandalf? :P
Since mentors tend to be older than their mentees, I imagine that it's relatively common for them to have white or silver hair.
Overall—and granted that I don't know the source-work or the fandom-culture in question—I would guess that there's little to worry about.
It's entirely possible that some will call you a rip-off—but then, that can happen even if your work is not at all inspired by another.
So, to my mind the question becomes: is it genuinely plausible that a significant portion of the fandom will call you a rip-off? And if not, why not go ahead despite the anxiety?
I’ve definitely got the impression that my works were derivative of other works but, like, if everyone was going out of their way to avoid any similarities, we wouldn’t even have genres. So I just lean harder into it. Going as far as including detect references. If I had an old white haired mentor guy, I’d just name him “Ken Obi” or something.
I think deep down most audiences don’t mind creators being “unoriginal” as long as they’re upfront about it. A lot of beloved creators built their works entirely on pastiche, homage and otherwise being “derivative”.
And as far as your question about splitting the cast, I think your premise already does that. A theatre troupe would likely divide its employs into cast and crew. Then further divide its cast into lead and supporting while the crew would be divided by directors/writers along with makeup/costume and set design. It seems like that would be the logical way to do it if you need to divvy up the characters.
Edited by Woosmo on Jan 7th 2023 at 8:37:58 AM
You are only plagiarizing if it's so similar that you get hit by a complaint or even lawsuit by the original creator. Like, I'm talking about copying scenes by scenes and dialogues by dialogues here.
Other than, it's all fair game and if any clowns say otherwise tell them to go fuck off.
Edited by dRoy on Jan 8th 2023 at 10:15:32 PM
Nothing is purely original. A lot of my characters are loosely based on characters from a show I like, and even now I still use those show characters in my head when imagining scenes, but the plots of these works are so different that the characters end up as radically different people.
as the others have said, youre already diverging from the source; if you want to further personalise it, you can add personal touches (no pun intended) like your own experiences or other things you like. a great deal of stories (even lit fic) arise from mashups of things the author likes and has experienced.
a good rule of thumb is that audiences connect better to something youre passionate about.
and yes, if you get some turbonerd screaming you plagiarized something because you took inspiration from it, tell them to fuck off
Edited by MsOranjeDiscoDancer on Jan 11th 2023 at 1:50:37 AM
You might also wanna take a gander at this. Like the others said, all stories have borrowed elements, whether from other stories or real life.
Ah, the fear of being thought a rip-off.
Maybe I'm paranoid over this because the fandom I'm most active in is pretty small (I'm the only one who regularly updates a lot of the fandom pages in English, and even in Japanese, most of the youtubers I've seen talking about this genre have never heard of it). What I'm writing is more-or-less the same genre (idols) but very, very different — as in, it takes place in a modern-like fantasy world, and it's as much based on acting troupes in Shakespeare's London, and opera companies, as it is on idols and 2.5D.
Still, the influence is pretty clear, and I don't want to cover it up entirely. But then there's things like... a Fiery Redhead with a name that means "sun"? A Geodesic Cast — how do I split the troupe into easier to digest groups without being a ripoff when the fandom I like splits their 12 into groups of 2, 3, 4, and 6? I have a white-haired mentor character. There, uh... doesn't seem to be a trope for this, but it is a trope that shows up in quite a few series. I sort of studied them in depth when I first noticed it. But at first glance, my character of this type might jump out as a ripoff of the one in the series I like, though they're really quite different.
I know it's a silly fear, and I really shouldn't worry about it.
Have you ever felt this way? What was yours?