They say there are no new stories, just new spins. And…yeah pretty much that’s true. So many of us have had that experience of saying “I want to write a story about x!” only to find out that somebody else already did it. Sometimes we make this discovery before we ever put our pen to metaphoric paper. Sometimes while we’re halfway through. Sometimes not until we’re done and ready to publish or submit. And in truth, it probably isn’t exactly like your concept at all, but often it’s JUUUUUST similar enough to make you go ARGH!
I confess I had a bit of one of these moments the other night. Which led to a whole big “DAMN YOU, EVIL DAY JOB!” moment because if not for it sucking up 40 hours+ a week, I’d actually have already written it and I would have BEATEN this person who totally stole the series title I wanted.
:GRUMP GRUMP GROUSE:
So then I get to doing some more detailed digging on Amazon and find out that there are, in fact, 2 traditionally published series by this title, and numerous self pub stand alones titled the same. None of them are QUITE what I’m doing, but it meant I had to really give some thought to what the heart of the story I wanted to tell was going to be. How was MY concept unique compared to the stuff that’s already out there. Doing that made me feel better about my idea, but I then had to do some serious soul searching about how I could best reflect that with a new name.
I think I finally figured it out today. Checked my NEW idea for a series name and nobody’s used it. So…I need to get a move on and snap it up! Which means, um, finishing the first one.
Anyway, my general point is that it’s important when you’re working on your ideas (whether there’s another out there that’s similar or not) to really winnow down to the heart of what YOU bring to the table. What’s part of your personal formula that isn’t like anybody else? Figure that out and you’ve got the thing that’s always going to make you unique no matter what the base concept is.