Friday, September 2, 2011
These Shoes Are So Familiar
They're just another pair of flip flops. Sure, they're pink and all, but I've seen a million pair exactly the same. Doesn't mean I don't like them, but it does mean I'm not going to rush out and buy them. And, I'm certainly not going to call all of my friends and tell them they MUST. BUY. THESE. SHOES.
So, I was reading this published book last night, and the strangest thing happened. I started having deja-vu. I mean in a bad way. It kept going and going and going...(you get the point). Finally, I realized what the problem was. It wasn't deja-vu at all. I had written the exact same scenario three months ago. My first thought was that this author had stolen my premise. Then, I came to my senses. There's no way she could have stolen my material. After all, this book was published three years ago. I finally accepted the fact that my "never-been-done-before" premise had, in fact, been done before.
I reacted the exact same way any self-respecting author would react. I ranted and raved, throwing a hissy fit like no other, and then collapsed in a bath of pity tears.
Then, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and had a burning of the "never-been-done-before" premise party. I watched three months of work (thank God above it wasn't more than that) go up in flames. All I can say is, as painful as it was to throw a beloved project to the wayside, it was far less painful than actually finishing the project, submitting it, and then being told it had been done before.
This, my friends, is why we should read! Especially in our genre. You never know, your next brilliant idea just might have been done before.
So, has this ever happened to you? It stinks, doesn't it?