What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
A few years ago, I wrote a short story titled Regeneration. It earned some recognition in a contest, and I had always planned to revisit my feisty main character one day. I wasn't ever sure if it was more dystopian or just speculative; in the world of the story, the government mandated all citizens to take "supplements," which were meant to keep them healthy. The story unfolds when Tabitha loses her supply, and discovers the world without supplement-filtered lenses.
Flash-forward to fall 2011. I finally picked up Ally Condie's Matched, which had been released the year before. First of all, I absolutely loved Matched. The world Condie created still exists in my mind today, all the scarier because it feels so possible. Cassia is both relatable and consistent in the confines of her dilemma. But two thoughts came to me when I put it down:
1. Wow, that was an amazing book.
2. Thank goodness I didn't spend a year of my life turning Regeneration into a novel.
Of course my story was different from Matched, but it wasn't different enough to be successful in the wake of such a blockbuster series. I think writers should tell the stories in their hearts, however similar they may be to others, and I'm glad I got to spend a little time with my Tabitha. But novels require blood, sweat, tears, and time. I haven't done it myself, but should a writer Google his or her super-cool new ideas, or search them on Goodreads, before putting fingers to keyboard?
Music for today, in honor of Matched: Resistance by Muse