Road Trip Wednesday: Jinx–that was MY idea!


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.

This Week’s Topic:

What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?

Wouldn’t you know it, but I felt like this just last week!

Since I’m relatively new to novel writing, and in fact, have only recently gotten used to the label, “Novelist,” I’m still so very easily discouraged when I hear novels being sold, or debuted, that are even remotely like my works in progress. Like, even if other works are in the same genre! I convince myself that I’m a hack and I should just stop writing because clearly all the good ideas are taken!

Of course I know, mentally, that this is a stupid thing to think. I swear I know. I know that there are tons of books with the same concept but are executed uniquely. I KNOW THIS. But, like I’ve stated here before, my rational brain-voice is sometimes overpowered by my omgI’matalentlesshack-voice.

Case in point:

On Friday, I happened upon a review of Cinder (which dude, sounds like an intriguing story!). I was beyond discouraged, especially because my WIP2 is a YA scifi that explores issues of humanity in a human/android, post-apocalyptic world. Talk about getting a case of the wonk-wonks. I was completely unmotivated to work on WIP2 that day, and I’d been SO HAPPY about my progress just the day before. Of course, my dear crit partners and friends talked me out of my pit of despair, convincing me that my WIP2 was a completely different story.


I’ve learned that ideas are just that: ideas. They’re not The Story. So, even if a story has a very similar idea to mine (or yours!), I know that The Story is all about the execution of that idea. While writing, my main ideas for both my WIPs changed and morphed so often, they’re now a few bits removed from the original spark of idea that gave birth to them.

So please, continue on with the idea, maybe claw your way out of whatever pit of despair you decided to wallow in momentarily, and just keep writing, my friend. Just. Keep. Writing. You never know where that original idea will take you!

Oh, and what I do to avoid the wonk-wonks, I’ve simply decided that when I’m working on something, I need to completely work with the door closed (thanks, Stephen King), and avoid reading book reviews or “just sold” announcements until I’m done with whatever WIP I’m working on. There’s something to be said about researching the market, etc, but for me, that can’t happen while I’m in my rough draft stages. I also wait to read other books that may be similarly themed as mine, which is why I’ve been waiting until I finished WIP2 to read the books I list HERE.

Is my method crazy? Yes. But, does it help me become a finisher of novels? Yes. And, in the end, that’s all that matters!

So, what idea were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?


10 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday: Jinx–that was MY idea!

  1. Michele Shaw says:

    Ah. I am QUEEN COMPARER in all things, not just writing. It’s a nasty habit I’ve been trying to break for a long time. I think closing the doors is a great tip, and I’m going to try to do that from now on…not to mention that I won’t get so distracted and I’ll actually write! xo

    • Liza Kane says:

      Yeah, I’m not as strict as I should be, but I’m proud that my pit of despair moments are getting shorter and shorter. I’m SO looking forward to the time when my draft is off being critted…I promised myself two weeks of nothing but glorious reading! Frankly, that’s one of the things motivating me to finish soon.

      (I get to see you soon, woohoo!!) xoxo

  2. Colin Smith says:

    Not only is CINDER a retelling of Cinderella, but it borrows plot points from the anime series Sailor Moon–according to my daughter, anyway. It’s how you write it that matters.

    • Liza Kane says:

      Oooh, I LOVED Sailor Moon in when I was in high school…I’m looking forward to reading this book even more!

      And yes, it is how you write the story…one of these days, my inner writer will get it and avoid these pit of despair moments 🙂

  3. crystal schubert says:

    It’s too easy to see the similarities in everything that’s out there, so I don’t think mildly similar stories or themes are anything to get the wonk-wonks about 🙂 Glad you’re standing by your story idea!

  4. Donelle Lacy says:

    I’ve been to the Pit of Despair myself and it’s not a fun place to visit. You have the right idea in shutting out all the junk that can steal your love of your WIP and your progress with it.

    Everyone gets inspired by something that’s already been done, but then they reform it and make it their own. Or they use it as a springboard to something entirely original. Look at the success of Harry Potter! Your book could end up being the next trendsetter, but if you don’t finish it, it’ll never get published. So, keep on writing and don’t get discouraged!

  5. Jaime says:

    Good for you for sticking with it! The key thing with CINDER is that it’s a CINDERELLA retelling, and as long as your story isn’t also, you’re golden! I’d definitely read a story that explored the idea that you are with your WiP. Keep going 🙂 (*future reader gives you a high five*)

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