When someone else publishes your idea…
How do you keep the momentum going? I vacillate so much on my work in progress and it doesn’t take much to trigger the double-headed dragon of Self-Doubt and Procrastination into action.
So what triggered this week’s reappearance of the debilitating dragon?
I read one sentence in The Sydney Morning Herald with a book title to be released in a few months that sounded oddly familiar, oddly like ‘Beyond Happily Ever After.’ But the first word was missing and there was a question mark at the end. So I googled it with the author’s name and came upon the order form. On the third page of the order form, the title was sitting right next to Erica Hayes’ Shadowglass (of which I won an ARC on Twitter from Pan Macmillan during the week -woohoo!) and the concept of this other book also sounds very similar to mine: what happens to the girl after she marries her handsome prince. Though it does not appear to use actual fairytale characters as I have.
But it gave me reason to pause.
Then Jenny Crusie blogged about herself and Krissie and Lani making collages of their next collaboration which will feature Cinderella (oh-oh!), Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood. Sounds fabulous and their collages are superb.
But then my dragon fully came to life and kept bellowing flames at me ‘I’m not worthy!’ And just to prove it, I did minimal editing last week.
Last night, I came across another blog post from by Mary Danielson: “Your Book is Different“. Mary had a similar experience very recently and ended up listing a number of reasons why her book is different to the one that had been listed in the publishing deals.
So I will do the same:
Beyond Happily Ever After is different to the one to be released in May, and the collaboration because:
- it is a unique twist of fairytale that combines Cinderella and Snow White’s stories as they have married princes who are cousins.
- it combines old world fairy tale aspects along with modern life and looks at what it may be like to be a princess today
- started life as a short story which was published in Wet Ink magazine – have already acquired a fanbase, who are waiting for the rest of Cindy’s story
- I have a unique voice
- I have received excellent and very encouraging feedback in contests
- I loved writing this manuscript and people are going to love reading the book (though I know some of its themes are going to mean it’s not everybody’s cup of tea)
- there are other fairytale re-imaginings already published – one or two, more will help rather than hinder others getting published
- my manuscript WILL be out on submission by the time this other book comes out in May
- My imagination is very very twisted
- Twisted fairytales may become the new vampires
I feel better already. I bought a Disney scrapbook with Cinderella on the front and Snow White on the back to collage the story. (plan to do the collage in chronological order which is not how the story appears – mmm, that may be another point of difference) and I have been making red marks on printouts of the pages.
But thinking about this, authors who write vampire stories must come across this all the time. Someone beating them to the punch with a similar idea. And they keep writing.
I still have total faith in my retelling of Cinderella. Besides, the story is complete and I only have about 30 pages left to edit. It would be very silly to give up now just because someone else is publishing something similar.
So it’s back to caging the dragons, ignoring the self-doubt and declaring myself worthy and UNIQUE. And back to editing. I WILL finish editing this story by the end of February! MY Cinderella has a ball to go to.