Could this idea work?

When I write books, one of my biggest concerns is always "Have I seen this a hundred times before?" I know there's no such thing as a 100% original idea, but I always strive to write stories that aren't carbon copies of other people's work, you know" Anyway, I think I just came up with a really cool idea. I was watching one of those giant mech animes (I'm not usually into those, but I thought I'd give it a try), and I thought, "These shows are always set in the close or distant future. What would it be like if they were set in the past?" So I got this idea. What do you think?

It's set in a medieval kingdom (name undetermined) where there's an elite group of knights called the Titan Knights (working name, might change it). They're normal people who wear suits of armor that are twenty feet tall. They find these suits or armor out in the wilderness, and they need a mage to activate it otherwise it's nothing but a hollow metal statue. Once they're active, the knight can get inside (the magic lets him hover right inside the neck hole, so his head is in the helmet) and the armor copies all his movements. And then he fights. Cuz he's a knight, and that's what knights do. I've got a vague idea for a plot already formed (it involves discovering who made the armor and for what purpose) but it's still just the beginning of an idea. I'd like some opinions. Do you guys think it could work?

There is absolutely no idea - no plot, no character, no setting, no POV, no grammar structure - that can't work. In fact, it's not even about the idea. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The question everyone's waiting for you to ask is, "How am I going to pull this off?"

So skip to it: if that's the idea, which is neat and dandy and all that, what's the plot you're going for? Are you going to focus on a war? On the armoured suits and their pilots? Is it going to be like Gundam Wing? Are you going to focus on these knights as a whole and describe their missions, or on one knight and his particular journey? Are you going to focus on the knights at all or on the people they're going to fight for? Are you going to pull A Knight's Tale and show some villager putting everything on the line to join this elite group? Will there be love? Mystery? Will the knights be so normal to your kingdom's society that they blend in, or does everyone stop and gawk when they pass through? Do people learn about the pilots under the armour, or like Pacific Rim, is it all about those robots? Are the mages treated like an on/off switch or are they highly revered for their involvement in bringing these suits to life? What do the suits get used for these days, if the war is long since over or winding down or 'elsewhere'? Is there corruption in the ranks or from above? Have these knights become a personal army?

So yeah, you're asking the really easy, borderline unhelpful question ('cause the answer's a flat 'sure!'). These are the real ones you wanna have a brainstorming session over. :P

"These shows are always set in the close or distant future. What would it be like if they were set in the past?"

You'd end up with something like Vision of Escaflowne or Magic Knight Rayearth?

(possible spoilers incoming)

Well, like I said, I only have a vague idea for what the story's going to be about. The main character is a young man's who's always wanted to join the knights. It begins on (or close to) his day of graduation from the knights' academy, and his final test is to go out and find his own suit of armor. So he takes his best friend, who's also the mage he plans to activate it with, and they find one and get it working.

Somehow or another, they find what they think is another knight who's gone rogue, because he's attacking civilians. The odd thing is that he's got green flames coming out of the openings in his armor. Stuff I haven't planned out yet happens, and the new knight and his mage friend go out to figure out what's going on and stop the rogue knight. They eventually find out that there is a race of, for lack of a better word, living fires. They're just fires capable of sentient thought, and they'll live forever so long as they have something to feed off of. The rogue knight is one of these fires. They built the armor thousands of years ago, and they use them as ways to move around independently.

They have a system of staying alive: there are two major continents on this world. The fire beings will take over one of them and live there until everything that can be burned has been (which takes thousands of years- they burn stuff slower than normal fire), and then sail across the sea to the other continent. While they're gone, the continent they left will slowly regrow, and when they return it'll be covered in trees and plants for them to burn again. In this book, they've finally used up everything on the old continent, so they're returning to the MC's home country to begin the cycle again.

Obviously I've put more thought into some things than I have others, but in my defense I only had this idea a couple of hours ago :P

Dary, I haven't heard of those. Might have to look into them.

Sounds a lot like Shardplate from The Stormlight Archive. Just with a bit of mecha mixed in , the cliche "hero seeks magic McGuffin" and "hero aspires to join some important group" prominently featured and a bit of magic zombies thrown in.

Alternative idea: instead of going for a generic medieval knights-and-wizards set up, write something inspired by the story of Judah Loew ben Bezalel and the alleged golem he created in 16th Century Prague.

I'm a huge Sanderson fan (you've probably figured that out already). Does it count as a McGuffin if it isn't the only one in existence? Like, I thought a McGuffin was something like "This is the one and only sword in the whole world that can kill the bad guy." These suits of armor aren't exactly commonplace, but they're far from rare. You just have to look hard enough and you'll eventually find one. Not gonna argue the "hero aspires to join important group" one, because you've got me there. I am curious, though, where you got "magic zombies" from.

Not zombies sorry,(Reread the big test block you posted(Seriously, please separate your post into paragraphs it's really hard to read)), more The Reapers from Mass Effect, and not really a MacGuffin now that I read the Tvtropes page, more a Amplifier Artifact.

A MacGuffin is simply something that drives the quest, often something that isn't itself the focus of the story, but rather the excuse for said story happening.

In that case, the armor isn't really a McGuffin at all, because the story would be happening whether or not the MC got his or not. Unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings, where the entire story happened because Sauron's fancy jewelry exists.

The way you're responding to everyone sounds like you've got a but more than just a vague plot now. ;) Do you think you know what you'd write for the first two chapters, or is there something you want to iron out still first?

Haha, people have told me before that it's crazy how fast I can come up with the plot for a new book. Like I said, I only have a few things planned out, mostly the overarching plotline. I still need to figure out what's going to happen in between those major events. Also, most importantly, I want to know how they're going to beat the bad guys in the end. I hate writing an story all the way to the final showdown, and then realizing I've written my heroes into a hopeless scenario with no realistic way out. :P

How about setting it in the Stone Age? Be quite interesting to read how the armour and fire spirits interact with the stone age population, and I don't think that the Stone Age has been explored that much in fantasy.

I dunno. It could work, but I kinda had my heart set on them being knights, you know?

They could still be knights. Just Stone Age Knights. There were clans in those days(I think) and you could make the knights be a "special clan", or maybe you could have the whole medieval pomp, structure and ceremony and just make the technology stone age, and have one of the mysteries in the story being why this culture lost most of their metallurgy and smithing knowledge.

Hey, Adam, what sort of tone are you going for? Would it be dark enough to /let/ you write your characters into an inescapable corner, die, and then follow the journey of a new group who've taken note of what didn't work the first time? Just in case you really can't write your way out realistically.

I don't think so. It could happen I suppose, but I've never written a story like that before. They're intense, but also lighthearted in a way, you know? Like watching a summer blockbuster. You're excited and pulled into the story (hopefully), but you know in the end the good guy's gonna win, everything's gonna be fine, etc.

now, the supporting cast, on the other hand... yeah, it's open season on them, as far as I'm concerned.

Just wanted to say, I completely feel you on the "try not to be a carbon copy" thing. It's one of my biggest, if not the biggest, hang-ups I have with my writing.

As for the idea, there's been medieval based magic-mecha stuff before, mainly in anime and sentai shows, but it's not nearly as common as future or alien mech stories. Honestly, the concept you listed seems fine enough as a power set, it's what you do with the stories/characters afterwards that will really sell it.

This is going to be a bit disjointed, but my mind doesn't always go from Point A to B in a straight line. Still, I'm at least going to answer the original question a bit.

As a fan of a certain type of show, I have seen similarities but nothing comes all that close. This is all very close to the sentai genre. My first thought was Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, though it wasn't quite so complete an outfit. Just a group of people who use magic to turn into superpowered knights and fight the forces of evil.

I also thought of Power Rangers Mystic Force, where magic-based power rangers turn into their giant zords. Of course, the size is bigger and it's not the same as just being inside them, but I felt it was closer than the traditional "piloting giant mecha in a cockpit" type of thing. On top of that, a couple of the characters are magical knights who are bigger transformed.

As a special mention about the idea Rincewind had of Stone Age Knights, that would make it more similar to the Japanese sentai Ky?ry? Sentai Zyuranger, which was adapted to the United States as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. In Japan, those magical suits and Zords were created back in caveman times to be used by ancient warriors fighting an evil sorceress, using animals from back in then. You know, the Stone Age when humans lived alongside dinosaurs.

Lastly among the sentai, there's Big Bad Beetle Borgs, where a genie magically gives a group of kids the ability to use adult-sized armor to fight monsters.

Then there are the non-sentai similarities, though those tend to not have magic, like your Warhammer 40k and Starcraft Space Marines, or Battletech's Elementals.

On top of that, we have comic books to think about. Lex Luthor's power armor, the bigger Iron Man armors, Jim Gordan's Batman power armor, and the Destroyer Armor all come to mind. In the Destroyer's case, it's magically-created armor that is inhabited by the soul of the user, not the body. Even Guyver might kinda count, though there's a big difference between the films and manga.

Finally, as others have pointed out, pretty much any giant mecha series is going to be at least a little similar. Gundam, Gundam Wing, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Zoids, Toppa Gurren Lagann, Vandread, and particularly Tekkaman Blade. That one's where a guy has the ability to transform into a larger, armored form to fight aliens alongside a group called the Space Knights who fight using giant robots. In that case, it's aliens using crystals, so not magic.

So in my limited knowledge, the same broad-strokes stuff has been done, but I can't think of the absolutely exact thing off the top of my head. That said, I don't know as much about anime and manga, and that's might top guess for where you'd find something almost exactly the same if it exists.