Synchronicity

I FINALLED IN THE MAGGIES!!!!! I’m so thrilled – that’s such a huge contest!! The bad news is, Susan Litman is the judge and she’s already rejected it twice. I already sent her a warning email titled “The Manuscript That Wouldn’t Die.”

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My WIP is set in Africa. There are hostages, an ex-military hero, a woman who works for an NGO. Sound familiar? Yep, Suzanne Brockmann has some of the same elements in Breaking Point. I don’t think all of the above are the main characters, but enough similarities to ensure I won’t be reading her book till I’m done with mine.

When I was writing Hot Shot, a Superromance by Eve Gaddy came out. Reporter protagonist vs. firefighting protagonist. Just like mine, though the roles were reversed. Up till then, I’d never seen a book about wildfire fighters.

When I was writing Beneath the Surface, I saw a preview for the new movie Into the Blue, about divers finding a shipwreck that can make all their dreams come true. Okay, the similarities in that one are more of a stretch, but still.

I know it’s happened more than that (remember, I’ve written like 16 manuscripts – there are bound to be more.) So what’s up with that? Do we watch the same news programs? Maybe. Am I inspired by the same thing that inspires Suzanne Brockmann? And how cool is that? It’s true some of my stuff is derivative – I get the ideas from other places, mix them up, but to get the same ideas as other writers, other PUBLISHED writers, is kind of far-flung. I mean, how many ideas are out there? And why would the same idea appeal to different people?

Sometimes the same thing happens in Hollywood. Did you know there were supposed to be TWO War of the World movies this summer? One was Cruise’s, the other a historical. Gee, I wonder why the historical one didn’t get released. Then there was Peter Pan, then Finding Neverland. There are supposedly two Beowulf movies in production – one with Gerard and one without. Can you think of any others?

Have you ever been excited about a manuscript, only to learn there was another out there with a whole lot of similarities? What did you do?

21 comments:

Peggy said...

Congrats on finalling in the Maggie, Mary! Way to go!

Peggy

MaryF said...

Thanks, Peggy! I was awake almost 30 minutes this morning before I remembered!!

Dixie Belle said...

Congrats! I love the photo!!

MaryF said...

Thanks, Dixie! That picture is from his Beowulf movie.

You know, I wish someday he'd be in a movie I didn't have to WAIT to see.

Stacy Dawn said...

Awsome news Mary! Congratulations!! And yes, that has happened to me too and I agree, you don't know whether to be frustrated or think "hey, I'm thinking like the big girls!"

Stacy

MaryF said...

Thanks, Stacy!!!

Thinking like the big girls - hey, I like that attitude!

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo Mary!!!!! That's fantastic :)

MaryF said...

Thanks, Bonnie!!!!!

Shesawriter said...

Mary,

CONGRATS! The Maggie is such a wonderful contest. It doesn't matter that Ms. Litman rejected your entry before. She's judging the writing you submitted **to this contest** against the other contestants. Obviously she likes your work, (and the book since she let you resubmit it!) so you've got just as much a shot as anyone else. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, sweetie. Good luck.

Tanya

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Congratulations Mary on the Maggie! Are you going to the conference? Funny that you should be blogging about Synchroncity. I've had it happen with 3 of my manuscripts, but it always turns out that they have a much different take on the subject than I do, and the characters aren't similar. Just recently I discovered that a writer was doing a book set partly in the 1920's but her's is a time-travel and mine is a multi-cultural paranormal. I just keep writing and sending them out.

MaryF said...

Thanks, Tanya and Elizabeth! I don't know about the conference yet. I'd like to, but it won't be easy.

Elizabeth, I've found when I read the books with similarities to mine, they're not much alike, but it's still interesting to think someone is inspired by the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I always tell my students that there are no new ideas out there...only our personal takes on an idea. THAT is what makes any work unique. It makes sense that we often see others with the same basic idea foundations...we are all connected via the net, the news stations, the world around us (and on a shamanic level, if you are of that stream of thought...you guys know I am! :). It's what YOU think of an idea, what that idea brings out of you, and how you express it in your own way and with your own heart that makes it new, Mar. You've got all of that, and more. YAY on the Maggies! You go, girl!

JoAnn

MaryF said...

Thanks, JoAnn!

Amie Stuart said...

Mary Congrats!!!!!!! That's FAB!

mary beth said...

Woo Hoo on finalling in the Maggies! :-)
Boo hiss on Susan Litman being the judge. Maybe she'll change her mind.
You're so right about synchronicity. It's so annoying to pick up a cool looking book, read the back and realize the story's so similar to mine. Or to be reading along and read a conversation that runs almost word for word like one of mine. That one really gets me. It just makes me think I need to write faster and get mine out there first! :-)

MaryF said...

Thanks, Cece and Mary Beth. Mary Beth, I'm not TOO worried about Susan being the judge since she gave it a second chance after it finalled in the GH, but just finalling is enough for me.

Ooh, I've never come across a conversation like one of mine. That's scary. Writing faster is my solution, too, though it didn't work with Hot Shot.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finaling in the Magie, Mary...that is so great.
I know what you mean about school draining the creative energy...
As to similiar stories...I tried to base a new wip 'snached right out of the headlines', just as the suggested...results...I based a romance on people on the fringes of a famous couple's life...never mentioned them, just the situation that developed because of their choices...and would you believe, the week I finished my wip, the couple split up...making my story ancient history.

Wishing you all the best on the Maggie...
Carol M

MaryF said...

Thanks, Carol. I'm sorry about your story - surely you can rework it, I hope!

Sarah Catherine said...

Congratulations, Mary!
I just noticed your post on the Intrigue thread about the contest junkies contest!
(BTW, why can't you post the name of your story? Did I make a faux pas by posting mine?)

If Hot Shot was the story on contest junkies - I remember REALLY liking it! I think I sent you an email - the characters were great!

Sarah Catherine said...

Oh, and having the same ideas as others really bites! :) I had a GREAT idea for a series about heiresses (and I may go ahead and write it anyway to put my own twist on it), and Bombshell just came out with a similar series on heiresses! I was dumbfounded, seriously.
I just have to write it for myself, though!

MaryF said...

Thanks, Sarah, and for the kind words about Hot Shot. The email they sent when they said the story was up said to tell people your story was up, but not to put the name of the story, since we don't want it to be a popularity contest. (I can see their point, but, we DON'T?)

That series about the heiresses looks good, but I'm sure yours will be different. Just don't read the others first ;)

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