Story Excerpts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Writer's Nightmare: Plot Similarities

It's Wednesday, I know. I had phone internet issues yesterday, and figured better late than never. Plus I'm wanting some feedback on something...

You've worked a story for years, rewriting draft after draft after draft. The main characters are like family members, and you can safely say, that if you could only publish one book--only one--it would be this one. The story of your heart.

Another author publishes a story set within the same, small genre niche as your story. Okay, this is good...it proves there is a market for your story, and so you get excited.

The author's book releases, and you eagerly follow the reviews to see what others have to say about the author's book.

Then.

Reviewers reveal the author's plot in more detail, and you start feeling sick. Really sick. Because not one, not two, but three plot points are very similar to the story of your heart.

True, that there are only so many plots, and an author will bring their own unique spin and Voice to a story, but when your writing for a small market like CBA, and in an even smaller genre and setting--Time Travel to the early Roman-ruled centuries...

Death.

Death to the story of your heart. Unless, you can bear to see that baby go through some major reconstructive surgery.

I'm not sure I'm there yet. I keep telling myself that the plot points aren't that identical. But I know I'm biased.

So what do you think?

Two stories. CBA market. Time Travel genre. One set in 1st century Aegyptus, the other in 3rd century Cathage. Both heroines become slaves, albeit in different ways. Both heroes are working to give slaves a better life, though one hero helps slaves escape and take on new identities, while the other buys the slaves. A story focus on sacrifice, as opposed to saving lives during a plague outbreak.


Just too similar. Right?

I've invested so much of my heart and time into this story, that I just can't imagine changing the main plot, or giving the characters a new setting, maybe even genre. So I'm doing the only thing I can. I'm shelving it. And it hurts.

Because shelving could be goodbye.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NaNoWriMo & a Prayer Request

Fall is here, and NaNo is right around the corner. :) This month, I'll be plotting a new story idea and getting to know new characters. Exciting!

What's the big deal about NaNoWriMo?

Perfectionism is my kryptonite, and the challenge to get to "the end" before edits has made NaNo very important to me.

I realize that I'll never make in either the traditional or indie publishing world without being able to write a first draft in under six months. I did it once, but I need to be able to do it again and again.

With practice, I'll achieve that smooth-flowing story that only comes through working a draft to the end without breaks.

You don't have to draft in November, or even adopt the standard 50K word goal. Personally, I enjoy encouraging other NaNoers, and writing alongside of friends.

Anyone else planning to participate in NaNo this year?

I have a prayer request, if you've the inclination to pray for me. I've made a local move, and don't yet have the funds for internet. In order to keep up my blog, I have to type up posts on my phone, which has a touchy keyboard. I cannot begin to describe how frustrating this is, and more than once, I've been tempted to quit blogging for awhile. I do want to keep blogging and connecting with people--especially now that I'm getting good ideas for my brand--but it's very hard. So thank you, for standing with me in prayer about this.