Hands off that Idea! It's Mine! Oh, Bummer...it's Not.
This week's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt asks:
What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
Theme song for this post: It's All Been Done by the Barenaked Ladies
What a bummer that would be, to be super excited about a new project, to give yourself to the thrill of the magic you'll create with your words, the beautiful scenes you imagine and just can't wait to get down on paper (or computer)--only to have your hopes completely dashed as you discover your shiny idea is just too similar to another story out there. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to decide not to go forward with a project for that reason. We have to come up with something fresh, something original, right? And we don't want to do something that a million others have done.
But, when do you know that moving on is the best choice, rather than coming up with a new and exciting twist on something familiar?
I have no idea. I've never wrestled with this before. I probably should, though. Maybe elements of The Mirrormasters are too similar to what's already out there--the quest to stop an apocalypse, using mirrors to travel to another world, a love triangle of sorts that just sort of happened without my planning or say-so. It's not going to deter me from finishing up the edits, but hopefully I'll find enough that's unique and cool that it won't matter how similar some elements are to other fantasy.
What about you? Have you had to shelve a project you were excited about because it was too similar to an idea that's already been done? When do you think a story should be shelved rather than staying with it and making a special effort to create a unique twist on a familiar idea?