I have not used this space to write about my own projects yet. My book-of-the-next-two-days has been prompting me to think back to a WIP collecting cyberdust in my Documents folder.
Currently I am reading Halo by Alexandra Adornetto [see the review on the Well Read link sometime this weekend]. It’s about an angel in human form who falls in love with a human boy. I have a project titled “Halos” with seemingly similar echoes of the conceit. Naturally, this discovery exposed the little insecurities we writers can have: “I had the idea first!” “Well, I think mine is better.” “Why would s/he write it that way?!?”And worst of all “Does this mean my book can never be published?”
I could give those insecurities some tough love: “Next time you have a great idea, be the first with an editor/agent.” “If yours is so much better, prove it. You may have to wait for the supernatural trend to come back in five years, but that gives you a chance to perfect it.” “S/he wrote it that way because that’s their story. Want it different? Write it different.” I have no idea as to the last insecurity.
Fellow writers and friends in the know, if a writer has a story in her heart (maybe with a different title) that retains mere whispers (not an outright echo) of an existing book, must she keep it to herself for years and years, change it outright, or hope someone sees space in the market for more than one trend book?
2 thoughts on “On the Wings of Angels”
I think there is still a chance for your book (with a different title). It will just need to stand out, so that people will say stuff like “Oh, it’s a lot like Halo – but way better.” (Or more preferably people will say, “Oh Halo? That’s like Brittany’s book Awesome Angel Adventures, but not as good)
For example: How many books have been written about a mysterious dome-like shield that suddenly appears around a town? A lot. But most people can only think of Stephen King’s Under the Dome
This has happened to me a number of times…
In 1988, after seeing Clint Eastwood’s “The Dead Pool” and not caring for it a whole lot, I had an idea for what would’ve been one last “Dirty Harry” film; a script in which I created characters and plot elements that would later end up — not only in two other films — but two other Clint Eastwood films… in a row. (“In The Line of Fire” and “Unforgiven.”)
Around the same time, I had a sci-fi comedy in mind with a scene in which some 1980’s time travelers end up in the far future and walk into an 80’s Themed Diner (rather like the cool 50’s ones we have now). And then “Back To The Future Part II” happened.
Later, I came up with a concept for a “Ghostbusters” storyline in which they face off against a Demon from Hell, using Catholicism as the main religion base, instead of Sumerian or Carpathian as in the first two GB films. And then Dan Aykroyd wrote a little something called “Ghostbusters: Hellbent,” which is still-unproduced but who knows? Especially since Columbia’s now prepping a “Ghostbusters 3D.”
And most recently, the aforementioned sci-fi comedy (above) came back to mind after I saw the preview for this coming winter’s “Tron: Legacy,” in which a Kid looks for his Father in an industrialized Los Angeles neighborhood, finds a workshop, turns on a computer/machine and is launched into another realm. Just like I had planned. Almost shot for shot.
The point is, this happens to everybody at some point. The idea is to keep on creating. Let nothing stop you. Sometimes the above can help you come up with something even better. There may be precious few “new ideas” floating out there through the ether, but there’s still honor and greatness in telling a story in one’s own way.