Have you ever written a story only to learn that someone else has written something so similiar that it could be its twin? Well, it happened to me not that long ago. Damn, that Publishers Marketplace for breaking the news to me.
The hard part about my dilemma is that this author is a friend of a friend. We’ve never spoken to each other about our WIPs, and yet, our manuscripts take the same fresh direction in urban fantasy. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed at myself for not being faster. 😦 The chances of selling this particular manuscript to NY are between slim and none. The rejections will come back with “Has been done” or “Needs a fresher take”.
However, there is a positive for me, in regards to her fantastic sale. For once, I was really onto something. Who’s to say something else I have in the works or on submission won’t be THE ONE to take urban fantasy in an even fresher direction?
So where does this story stand? I don’t know, to be honest with you. I know where it stands on my laptop (100-percent done) and where it stands with my crit partners (sixty-percent done). Until someone tells me otherwise, I’m going on the assumption that this particular story is still viable. I’ve put in too many hours to not give it a chance at some sort of publication. Still, there will be a few changes I have to make, starting with the location. I think I have a lead on that, although it’ll involve a three-hour drive to check the layout of the city. I’ll also have to change the occpation of my heroine. I’ve been thinking about doing just that anyway. There will be a few more things, but I’m up to the challenge…just not happy about it.
One thing that I refuse to change is the family dynamics of my heroine, which is very similar to my friend of a friend. That’s the heart of the story and the major motivation behind everything my heroine does. That stays. Sorry.
If I move things around, there’s a chance my enthusiam will rise again for this manuscript. That’s all I can hope for at this point. Bummer, yes. Defeating, no.
So, has this ever happened to you? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you do?