Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Oh No!" Moment


I've been kicking around a storyline for a few years...last month I started writing the proposal for my agent. It's one of my favorite story ideas so far and I'm only a chapter away from finishing and polishing the chapters to send out. Of course, I was on cloud nine that this paranormal was different enough and fun enough that I'd surely bag a contract...little did I know, I logged into Twitter on a break and an author I knew had an upcoming release...I was curious, so I decided to go to her website and read her blurb because I like to support my friends by purchasing their books...

Let me tell you, my jaw dropped. My idea wasn't as fresh and original as I'd thought it would be. I'd say a good 70-80% of her blurb was EXACTLY like my storyline except that mine is heavy on the romance and not so much on the death and destruction. Of course, I felt like weeping. This isn't the first time something like this happened to me, nor will it be the last. I suppose there are many creative types who are on the same wavelength. I can say I had a momentary "oh shit!" moment because I didn't know what I should do. Scrapping the project wasn't an option because it's a good story. So, I'm just going to finish it up and submit it to other publishers. Since the book that is releasing is at a publisher I usually submit to, I think I may still send it to the editor even knowing the premise is the same. The difference is the book is an eBook and mine is geared toward print...sigh, have you had those moments? Have you been speechless? Depressed? Not so much angry over the similarities but the fact that you were a little late to the game?

What would you do?

6 comments:

Naima Simone said...

I actually experienced this moment recently! I had this great idea for a book, pulled up my big girl panties and wrote it. It took some doing for me because it's the first time I wrote a story in this particular genre. Well, I finished it and was editing it before sending it in to my editor. As a congratulations gift to myself I decided to buy and read a book by one of my favorite authors. My stomach fell like I'd just bungee jumped off the freakin' Empire State Building! There were some similarities that made me think, Oh no! What if people who have read this book then read mine think I stole these concepts? I freaked! But like you, after a moment, 2 cans of Sour Cream 'n Onion Pringles and coffee, I finished editing it and sent it in to my editor.

I think romance novels across the board will share certain aspects, tropes and concepts. It's inevitable. But the difference between yours and that author, and hopefully mine and this author is our voices. They make all the difference and will make them interesting, compelling and dynamic books! You see that bit of faith-speaking there? LOL! You tell a story different from that other author and it will definitely come across! I'm rooting for you with your book and can't wait to read your blurb and excerpt!

Jax Cassidy said...

Thanks Naima! I had to keep reminding myself that the voice, execution, and story will be different even if the blurb sounds the same. Hugs to you on getting through it. I hoped your editor loved the book!

Wynter Daniels said...

Just because someone else has a similar idea, doesn't mean the book you write will be like hers. I would go for it!

Callie Croix said...

Oh, Jax, that's a toughie. Hope you can still rework the story and sell it!

Dalton Diaz said...

I wouldn't worry about it. Think about your favorite love story movies. Now, how many of them are actually Romeo and Juliet? (Hopefully with a different ending!)

The same can be said about all books, movies, and songs. It's the timing of the release that's tough on this one. If you're just submitting yours now, tho, even that won't matter.

Jax Cassidy said...

I'm going to wait a few months before I submit. I figured it wouldn't hurt if the righting kicks butt :P