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When someone else publishes your idea…

February 21, 2010

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:

  1. it is a unique twist of fairytale that combines Cinderella and Snow White’s stories as they have married princes who are cousins.
  2. it combines old world fairy tale aspects along with modern life and looks at what it may be like to be a princess today
  3. 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
  4. I have a unique voice
  5. I have received excellent and very encouraging feedback in contests
  6. 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)
  7. there are other fairytale re-imaginings already published – one or two, more will help rather than hinder others getting published
  8. my manuscript WILL be out on submission by the time this other book comes out in May
  9. My imagination is very very twisted
  10. Twisted fairytales may become the new vampires

illusion castle magic fantasy abstract

Free Photos Occult Angels Fairies Gothic Celtic Myspace Orkut Photos Glitter Graphics

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.

Cinderella image magical day old sorcerer magic fantasy abstract

Free Photos Occult Angels Fairies Gothic Celtic Myspace Orkut Photos Glitter Graphics

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.

Inkygirl's cartoon: If Cinderella were a writer -

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2010 8:50 pm

    Don’t give up, Di, keep going, 30 pages to go then woo hoo. Something to celebrate on Friday Night Chat, hey. I agree, authors would come across storylines similar to theirs all the time. And like you said, your story is different and unique that’s all that matters. It sounds great!

    • Diane Curran permalink*
      February 28, 2010 1:40 pm

      Maybe next Friday night chat…I’ll be celebrating (or the one after). Why does this hypothetical deadline keep moving?

  2. February 21, 2010 9:34 pm

    Oh Diane, no don’t give up. Like you said, you have your own voice and re-telling of fairy tales is something that will always happen. I can’t wait to see Beyond Happily Ever After on the shelves one day. Good luck!!

    • Diane Curran permalink*
      February 28, 2010 1:39 pm

      No giving up here, just trying to break through the Editor’s Block – but the solution is in one writing mantra ‘Rewrite Edit Submit’.

  3. February 22, 2010 7:43 am

    Yay! on winning Shadowglass! Hope you enjoy it!

    And never mind other people’s books. Jenny who? haha

    You should try writing urban fantasy. ‘Um, yeah, I’ve got this kick-ass heroine, and she kills vampires, and has affairs with hot paranormal guys and eventually saves the world.’ Never heard that one before 🙂

    • Diane Curran permalink*
      February 28, 2010 1:37 pm

      Jenny who? Yep love it.

      I’m sure I will enjoy Shadowglass, Erica…just wish there were more hours in the day so I could do the day job, write, edit AND read. along with all the RWA adminy type stuff.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Karina permalink
    February 27, 2010 2:03 am

    and this should be your mantra

    # I have a unique voice
    # I have a unique voice
    # I have a unique voice
    # I have a unique voice
    # I have a unique voice

    • Diane Curran permalink*
      February 28, 2010 1:38 pm

      “I have a unique voice”

      Thanks, Karina.

      Will add to

      “Rewrite Edit Submit”
      “I am a great Writer”

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