Rebecca Day

Deja vu all over again

Posted by rwday on July 7, 2008

First off, Tina Anderson has finally had some communication from Kellie, so I’m officially lifting my request that people not buy Thaw.  I haven’t got my second quarter royalties yet, but I think I will, and you know, even if I don’t, I want the book to be read.  So buy away!

You know, it’s one of those author nightmares – you have this fabulous idea for a book, you plan and plot and eventually sit down to write, only to realize that someone else has, completely independently, written your book.  I was reading Lauren Groff’s debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, last week.  It’s about a young woman who returns home to her quirky small town and finds herself delving into her family’s past, trying to solve a mystery.  At one point, I closed the book, thinking it sounded so familiar, and then I realized that in many ways, it was Spirals, my first novel.

Okay, it’s not, really.  There are significant differences.  Monsters has a lake monster instead of ghosts, fewer lesbians and more middle aged guys.  It’s also way better written, because Spirals was my nanowrimo, prove-to-myself-I-can-write-a-novel novel, but the similarities were enough to make me take notice.  There’s even one part where the main character discovers a significant clue in an old statuette, which is almost exactly what happens in my book.  Groff makes use of the writings of James Fenimore Cooper.  I used Stephen Crane.  Weird.

I did about a thousand words of a mystery short story yesterday, working title (which will undoubtedly change) of “Acre, 1148”.  Our local SCA group newsletter’s editor asked for contributions, including creative writing, and I thought I’d try to work up a 1k or so flash fiction historical mystery, but as I started researching, I realized 1k words wouldn’t be enough to do justice to my concept, so it’s probably going to end up being in the 4-5k range, too long for the newsletter.  I’d hoped to finish it today, but I’ve been fighting the sinus headache from hell.

I think it’s going to be a good story – it uses characters I’ve already developed and like, and the research spiraled the initial concept into a complex plot of murder and political intrigue in the 2nd Crusade.  Every bit of additional research I did added a new layer.  It’s so fabulous when that happens, and rare.  Too often my research contradicts some idea I’ve had and forces me to backtrack and revise.

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2 Responses to “Deja vu all over again”

  1. Chrissy said

    I love and I hate deja vu’s. I love having them, but I hate it all at the same time because i feel like it’s happened before the exact same way, but i don’t remember if it did or not.
    It reminds me of that move Deja Vu with Denzel… i recently watched it this weekend and loved it.
    I bought it before I seen it so I’m glad i did buy it!!
    I read a book prior to watching this Deja Vu movie and the book was called Death in Small Doses. It was about terrorism and kind of reminded me of the movie while I was watching it.
    The Author of Death in Small Doses, Bernard Steele was in the law enforcement so I sometimes thought that he was explaining this from his professional experience and wisdom.

  2. gynocrat said

    Sadly she sent it to my personal email when I asked her at her blog to please go through my rep. 😦 I don’t even care about the death watch anymore, so I’m moving on.

    I did about a thousand words of a mystery short story yesterday

    Congrats about being able to write something new. I owe a final volume script to a publisher, and I haven’t touched it over 6 months. *sigh*

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