Gena Showalter has been blogging about this. So has my wonderful agent, Deidre Knight. They’ve both had some rather unsettling discussions lately about comparisons between their books and another author’s.
The concept of original ideas and how some readers think that one author can steal another author’s story idea is a topic I see popping up over and over again.
How many original themes are there out there? Beauty and the Beast. Cinderella. Romeo and Juliet. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers….okay, maybe not that one *g*. But you get the gist here.
It’s what the individual author does with the theme, how she twists and turns the concept and puts her own creative spin on it, that makes it unique.
Take my book, Surviving Demon Island, for example. Kickass heroine who fights her growing attraction to alpha male, but falls in love despite her emotional scars while at the same time triumphing over paranormal evil.
Hello….anyone want to compare that theme to countless others out there? Anyone want to start bitch slapping me for stealing an idea thought up by someone else? Or lots of way famous someone else’s.
But Demon Island is nothing like those others. Nothing. At. All. Yet the theme is universal. In fact, it’s one of my favorites to read, which is probably why when the story concept hit me in a huge way I had to run with it. I’d like to think my spin on it is fresh and unique. I’d like to think my agent thought so too, along with the three publishing houses who bid to buy the book.
There are plenty of unique spins on universal themes. Otherwise there would only be ten books on the shelves and few writers. No writing organizations. No agents, no publishing houses, and no billions of books sold each year.