Too similar to another story?

by Uchiha Sasuke

Hi, I'm almost done with my novel (85,00 words, probably gonna end up being 95,000). In my novel, one of the main relationships is between two brothers. I recently discovered that Naruto, a popular manga, also has a relationship between two brothers.Now, my books relationship does not have the same story/plot as Naruto's, and the characters are not the same. But in both Naruto and my book, the younger brother thinks he has been betrayed but finds out with some twist that the older brother actually loved him. In Naruto, it's because the older brother made a huge sacrifice and gave up everything for the younger one. In my book, you realize that the older brother was having some pyschological problems that made him do something he later regretted Are people going to think I copied?

Answer: The short answer is no, for the following reasons...

1. People have been writing about relationships between brothers (often involving rivalry and betrayal) for thousands of years. The story of Cain and Abel in the Bible is but one example that later writers have drawn upon for their own stories. Before that, the ancient Sumerians were writing about rivalry between the brothers Enki and Enlil. Some story theorists, drawing upon Jungian psychology, see the relationship between almost every hero and villain as a symbol of sibling rivalry.

2. You cannot copyright ideas, only the expression of those ideas. Unless you're copying the actual words of another writer, you're not violating copyright.

The reason for this is that almost all stories and other works of art draw upon earlier works for inspiration. There are very few wholly original stories.

3. If, as you say, your plot and characters are your own creation, broad similarities are nothing to worry about. You are simply taking an classic situation and giving it your own unique treatment. Perfectly legit.

Of course, there are always some people who like to accuse others of copying, but these people are mostly uninformed.

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