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?