|I like to relax while watching cat food commercials too.|
Ever had an awesome book idea? One you spent years nurturing, preparing to write that bestseller? But before you did, another book came out using that same idea?
I have. Happens all the time.
So what do you do? Do you continue with your original idea that is no longer original? Do you forget the whole thing and focus on comfort food instead?
Or do you twist the idea and create new brilliance?
A few years ago I had this idea: what if, at night time, the entire world turned to chaos? That creatures rose from shadow to terrorize humanity?
Cool, right? Publishable money making material?
If you don't believe me, then check out "The Painted Man" by Peter V. Brett. It came out a year after my spark of creativity.
The book used my idea. Don't believe me? Here's amazon's description: "Brett catapults readers into a world in which demons rise at night and the human population lives in fear and seclusion."
See? My idea.
|Thomas Edison's brain.|
Now, to be fair, Brett didn't steal my idea. He just came up with it on his own--probably even before me.Then he developed it into something, honestly, brilliant.
It's part of his world-building, tied to every aspect of his book. I intended to use it simply as a plot device. He milked that idea to the last drop.
Still, I was pissed. I had this good idea and someone else used it. Why? Because I was slow. No. Because I was lazy.
I could have written my book as soon as I had that idea. Instead, I procrastinated and dreamed of success. But you don't get successful for staring at air. You need to do the work to get the credit.
Brett's book demonstrated that with a smack in the face. A fistfull of reality. Sudden and shocking. (For one who believed his ideas were to unique to recreate.)
Brett worked and gained success. I...didn't. (Precious life lessons here.) But I realized my mistake. (Hint, I was lazy.) Unfortunately, procrastination and getting fat followed.
|You exercise by lifting the book.|
I got over it. Went back to eating healthy food and writing wicked stories.
But what about the idea? Did I just forget it? No. You don't forget awesomeness imprinted on your brain.
So, I decided to use it. But the idea could not form its own novel anymore. That would be too similar to "The Painted Man." So I needed something new.
I needed to combine ideas.
Evil-creatures-appear-at-night became intertwined with a short story I had planned for "writers of the future." (Awesome competition.) One about a man running from his past, escaping to an island-paradise, only to discover he can't outrun himself.
And so, Ellipses was born.
|A close up of grammar.|
A story of fear's grip on reality and the past's influence on perception. Of redemption, love, and sacrifice.
It follows Jacen, a prince exiled by choice to an island inhabited by day, empty and corrupted by night. In this dangerous place of fantasy, he feels he has found home. But as memories of conspiracy and treachery rise up, Jacen must learn before all is lost:
That true paradise is found within.
|The old me.|
This story is my current work in progress, and I've never been as excited about a piece of writing as this one. It's original and thought provoking. Full of action and dark humor.
And it's all based on an idea I had years ago. One I thought I had lost to another writer.
Forcing myself to reuse it, to twist it, has provided me with a better concept than I ever imagined.
So, don't be afraid to develop ideas used by others. Yours will be different.
And don't wait. When an idea arises, make it yours. Make it into something tangible.
Something that you will be remembered for.
Then maybe someone else out there will be pissed.
Pissed that you stole their idea.
(Check out this digital art created by me for Ellipses. Note: I do not own the rights to any of the images used in its creation.)
|No final fantasy characters are actually featured.|