I started writing a new novel in August last year as I needed three chapters of a WIP to take with me on a writing course with the wonderful author, Sara Grant at the helm. I wanted it to be great, I was quietly trying to impress after all.
It was an idea that I had thought of before but I had placed in the little ‘to-do’ box that sits lazily in the back of my mind until I am ready to bring it out into the open. Unleashing the torrent of brain-chatter that for me, always follows a successful idea I have been overwhelmed by the need for me to write more and more down as this particular story unfolds on the crisp white page in front of me.
Finally – I am here. I am ready to open the little box and see what the story has in store. Well, it turns out that I’m not the only one with a loosely similar great idea. Sigh. Reach for chocolate. You now how it is.
I was ready until I realised that a famous author has since brought out a book, all shiny and new and edited and gleaming and taunting me from the bookshelves. Saying in the wind – Ha Great Big Jar – bet you to it!
So in my well-mannered fuming inside way, I defiantly bought said book and decided to read it – possibly in a huffy way to see what all the fuss is about. I know, I’m 40 now, I should grow up. Not easy when you’re only 5ft 3 3/4ins though.
Maybe it wouldn’t be the same storyline, maybe the character, plot, structure…..shoes/eyes/hair colour (clutching at straws now!) on main character would be different. Eeek! The tension was killing me. I couldn’t carry on with my MS knowing that something out there was already claiming the readers I was after for my similar story.
In stealth-like ninja mode, I headed home. Phew- no-one saw me! I turned the radio off and opened my freshly purchased book to the first page. Clearing my throat, pen and paper in hand, I read it all in one sitting taking notes as I went along.
Closing the book at the end, I spent a while pondering my WIP and the ideas I have for it.
Thankfully, it’s not the same story, it’s not the same character driven plot and they don’t have the same shoes/eyes/hair colour.
With a huge sigh of relief I re-named my MS and the burden has now lifted. Our books have one similarity but they are completely different in every other way, shape and form. There were nice little touches that I was going to use in mine that have now already been taken but I have more thoughts up my sleeve.
As Nina so rightly sings “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me…and I’m feeling good”.