Nothing new under the sun

Every writer likes to think her ideas are unique. We try to come up with plots that are original, or at least a new twist on old ones.

I was reading a book yesterday and the heroine, orphaned and on her way to live with an aunt she barely knows, stops at an inn. She decides to go no farther, but to marry the older, dour innkeeper in order to gain a home of her own.

Well, deja vu all over again. My latest release, Riverbend, has an orphaned heroine who  marries an older dour man in order to escape having to throw herself on the mercies of a distant relative. And both heroines fall in love with their husbands.

There is also a witch who has all the other slaves terrified of her. I have a witch who terrifies all the other slaves.  In the book, the witch is old and ugly, while mine is young and beautiful, so there the similarities diverge.

I haven’t finished the book I am reading to see if it parallels mine in any other ways, but I’ve read enough to realize my idea wasn’t so original after all.

Then I was watching the TV show, The Good Doctor, and in the story, conjoined twins are separated, but one’s heart was working for both her and her twin, unknown to the doctors until they were separated.

Umm … yeah. In my as-yet unpublished book, there is a scene where conjoined twins are in danger because, you guessed it, one’s heart was working for the other unknown to the doctors until they get too far into the operation to stop.

It just goes to prove that there are no plots that haven’t been written over and over again. The trick is to give them a fresh look.  I once had an acquisition editor send me a scathing reply to a query because I used the old “secret baby” plot line. Overdone! She was tired of  this stale and unbelievable story. And yet I read books with this very same, or variation of, the secret baby.  It works for some because they know how to give it that original twist (while I obviously did not).

So, don’t worry if you find yourself reading a book with an uncanny resemblance to your own. Just figure out what they did that was different.

As a footnote, Frenchy is much recovered. So much so that I am having a hard time catching her to give her her twice-daily dose of antibiotic in her ears. And she has gained at least a pound because she is eating like a little gray pig.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Benardchinua
    Jan 21, 2018 @ 05:59:16

    Right. Appreciated

    Reply

  2. CrizGazr
    Jan 21, 2018 @ 07:55:49

    So happy Frenchy is well enough to give you exercise! Until I started wearing my Fitbit, I never realized how often Lulu and her evil son Quinn keep me from sitting for hours at the computer.

    Around 1990, I had an agent shopping my vampire story. My vampire was a world-weary cynical woman who had a Celtic backstory. Of course, no one was interested because Anne Rice had the vampire market. So, I am now amused by the current deluge of vampire stories -I think acceptance also rests with the agents and publishers willing to see beyond a preconceived idea of what the market wants.

    I still remember the responses he passed on to me, “good story but Rice has that niche” “interesting but no room for another vampire” and my favorite: “might be better if it wasn’t a female vampire -is she a lesbian?”

    Reply

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