Set Backs and Plan Bs

iStock_000031424458_Large.jpgMy work-in-progress just suffered a massive blow and I’m back to the drawing board, two seconds away from scrapping the entire thing and starting all over. The book I’m currently reading has the exact. Same. Plot. As. Mine. Well, not the exact same. I’m being dramatic but there are a rather significant amount of similarities. Apparently there are imagination doppelgangers. Here’s the toughest part, I don’t like the book. I can’t even finish it. The story just isn’t the same from this side, the reader side. Dislike of the book and the “it’s been done” discourage took some of the wind out of my sails. I have a backup plan but it will require a ton of rewrites. I’m facing some serious hard work, well, harder work.

Being the silver-lining finding, optimistic I am, I can see opportunity in this setback. I learned a lesson I should never slack off on following. It is crucially important for writers to habitually read. If you want to write good fiction, you have to read good fiction. I say that phrase often and I usually adhere to it but I dropped the ball this time. It’s important to know the market for your genre and what’s drawing your target audience’s attention. Read what’s popular, read what isn’t. Read stories similar to yours in any way, as a rule so you don’t end up like me. I should have read this book 43, 000 words ago.

All of my characters will stay but I have to start world-building from scratch.  I can handle it. I’ll lick my wounds for a couple days and write short stories to work out my frustration on some unsuspecting characters. Then, it’s back to work I go. This day of my write-life is about determination.

To all of the writers who wake up every day and have enough persistence to simply keep going, you are revolutionary.

 

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4 thoughts on “Set Backs and Plan Bs

  1. Damn! I started writing a short story like that once. It seemed so fun and original… until I put on Blade Runner for the millionth time and realized, “Oh no — I’m just rewriting one of my favorite movies!” I never finished that story, although looking back, I think it had some substantial departures from the film and could’ve been hashed out. Hey, I might revisit that piece, come to think of it. Never throw anything out; you never know when you can reuse it somewhere (or sometime) else!

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    • You’re so right, never throw anything out. Initially I was so discouraged with the whole thing but after I took a moment I realized I still want to tell the story in my own way. I say revisit that short story Blade Runner and Harrison Ford aren’t the boss of you 😉 .

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  2. I feel you on this one! I’ve had the same experience before. It sucks, but there’s always a silver-lining. No one can tell your story like you can.

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  3. Oof! I’ve had that happen before. I tend not to read things that are similar to what I’m working on until I’ve at least finished the first draft out of fear of accidentally borrowing ideas. But, it’s still good to be up to date on the types of stories you’re trying to write, just in case. There are definitely imagination dopplegangers. Good luck with the rewriting!

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