“There are no new tunes.”
I remembering hearing a musician say this (or something very much like it) when asked if the similarities between elements of his work and classical pieces by Bach were deliberate or accidental. At the time it struck me as a rather flippant answer, but maybe there’s something in it.
The Idea, and where it comes from, is my thought for today because I am totally and utterly gutted that my Idea has been hijacked, scooped even, before I am going to get a chance to use it, and if/when I DO get the chance to use it, it’ll look like I’ve copied it (and not just copied it from any old writer, but from a bestselling sonofabitch who has somehow infiltrated my dreams and stolen them).
I had a great (and what I thought was unique) idea for how I wanted to end the Changeling series. I had it all worked out in my head, and I thought that it was going to be a doozy. I’d filed the idea away, fully intending to resurrect it when I came to write the last book in the series.
And then yesterday I read the outline of a forthcoming book by a renowned international bestselling author, and my heart fell into my colon. In essence the Idea is his new book.
Something similar happened to me with Changeling: I had the idea of having my bad guy using an ancient evil spell to turn hundreds of thousands of people into psychopathic killers all at the same time. How would he do this? By hijacking mobile phone networks, enabling him to broadcast to vast numbers in one sweep. A few months later I read Cell by Stephen King. Ah shit, he’d already had that idea (well near enough).
I feel utterly gutted. The last thing you ever want to be accused of is plagiarising someone’s work. If I go ahead and stick with my Idea I run the risk of people saying, “Oh dear, he got that idea from so-and-so.” I’m sure this kind of thing is very common, in fact I know it is, but when it happens to you, it sucks.
Off to sulk. Might see if I can find something hard to kick (maybe Vinnie Jones).