Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finishing Ellipses

I like to relax while watching cat food commercials too.
Procrastination Time

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.

Guess what?

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.
Thought Property

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.
Writing Exercise

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.
Lazy Fear 

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.


  1. Love this babe! And I'm so glad you're working on this story. I can't wait to read it. And yes, we have all fallen prey to our lazy procrastinating selves. Sad but true. Now we need to get it in gear and write something great!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful idea! I think that is something most writers have to fight with is that laziness. Glad to hear that you are overcoming it and still managed to save your idea! Whoo!

  3. Looove the idea, Dmytry!!
    Dark humour? Hauntings of a past? I'll read it for sure!! :)

  4. It sounds like a wonderful story. It brings thoughts to mind about what I would write, for sure. It sounds great.

    I would, personally, not talk about stealing ideas from writers when I'm trying to get paid to edit. I know you are joking, but as writers we also understand that most jokes hide truths. Not saying your joke does, but some may think so. Though I am sure your book has nothing to do with other writers, I still wouldn't advertise it.

    Draven Ames

  5. This just happened to me too. I had an idea about a year ago, and I've been fooling with it while writing other things, not yet ready to start it. Then yesterday at the library, I found a thriller with a similar premise. So I'm reading it to see how the author handled it, rather than fuming over my loss.

    I've also decided that since his book is a thriller, and mine is romantic suspense, there's no conflict. It will not be the same just like Twilight is not Interview with a Vampire.

    Good luck with your MS, Dmytry. It sounds intriguing.

  6. You know, it is ironic that you named this procrastination time and haven't been back since.