I’ve been a bit out of the blogosphere and twitter the past days cos’ I’ve been a tad sick…I’ll be back full speed soon though 😀
Now, on to Road Trip Wednesday (get ready for a long post!)…
Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.
This Week’s Topic: What Shiny New Idea were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
I finished my first draft of my first-ever-finished-draft last month so I don’t have a lot of experience on this and I have plenty of ideas for my second/third/and upcoming WIPs…none of them I am tossing aside yet.
The question would be: How close is too close for comfort?
Let’s say I am writing a dystopian book and my new shiny idea is: a world where each year tributes from different sectors fight to death until only one stays alive.
This may sound a tad too close to something already published (*cough* The Hunger Games)…unless…it takes place in an avatar-like world and it’s beasts vs humans and we see the perspective of the monster and it’s in an arena where everybody can cheer them on and nobody volunteers for somebody else and the humans become more monstruous than the beast and a beast rescues a human and they flee the game and the winner of the game needs to kill them both if he wants to survive and it’s her brother and the monster and the beast discover they have more things in common and….the story is actually different.
- Does my actual draft (the one I wrote, not the imaginary one I just made up above) have similarities to something already published?
- Is it a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
My book has witches in them. It also has love, steamy kisses, sad moments and learning to know oneself.
Plenty of books have witches and love, just like plenty of books had vampires before Twilight. And don’t get me started about books where love plays a role in…
- Would you pick my draft up and think: wow, wait a second, I read this and this French lady should totally be sued for copyrights’ infringement, like Deforges for Gone with the wind? (by the way I love the Bicyclette bleue series)?
I will not toss my idea aside for two reasons:
- By the time I am actually done with the process of seeing my book on shelves: revising, sending it to my beta-readers, making changes, querying, getting-the-agent-who-loves-my-story-and-the-way-I-tell-it, making changes, landing the contract with amazing-publisher, possibly making more changes…, the market may be curious for new stories about witches.
- The story will be different. Let’s take another example the fairy tales re-telling…they have the same idea in them but the way they are told make them stand apart,
Let’s talk movies.
See, I love that movie!
And I love that one too 😀 (not ashamed to admit it)
And wow, Drew Barrymore in that one? (amazing…)
Ok to get back to point 2) 🙂 The story will be different because this is the one I wrote. We all bring ourselves to the paper, one way or another, if we recognize it or not. Books are not written in a vacuum – New Historicism amongst other literary theories help us to see this. I get inspired by other people’s writings, by the sun, by the clouds, by music, by a certain light, by a smile…by many things. I get better thanks to other people’s writings but the story I am telling is still my own.
Sometimes, as a reader, we see story lines which ring a bell but we still dive into a novel because of the craft of the writer, because the characters become endearing, because this story becomes fresh in our eyes when we do so.
My story is original and I certainly hope that it will get the chance to see the wild wild world…And if it does not, it might get tossed aside for awhile but it will always hold a special place in my heart!
Wow…this was a looong post 🙂
I cannot wait to read your thoughts on this!