Saturday, August 12, 2006

The fickle funk

Yeah, so I'm back in a funk. *sigh* This one's not as bad, and I think it's trying to lift as I write this, but darn it! - I was feeling so good yesterday.

The problem is another writer. Not her fault - mine. I finally cruised over to the "sister forum" to the Compuserve group I've joined. Over there, you can post chunks of your current WIP for critique, as long as you critique so many of other people's work. Win-win all around, everyone helps each other. So I was just looking around, as I don't have enough written to post for crit yet, and I saw some messages to this other writer. She's also working on a time-travel Scottish piece, and she's been working on hers for quite some time. So she's ahead of me, in more ways than one. And her stuff is really good.

The problem? She's beaten me to several story elements that I had come up with for my own book. I was so proud of my originality. I also don't want anyone to think that I borrowed/stole them from her, because I really didn't. In fact, I'm trying to avoid reading her stuff now to preclude that accidentally happening. But how can I, a new writer, prove to the good folks on the forum that I came up with this stuff before I even joined the group? I guess I could post the transcripts of my chats with Jon (he's kind of my muse - I bounce story ideas off him while I should be doing my day job). And is there room in the publishing world for both her book and mine?

The Big Oh-No: Time Travel. Those of you who know me and/or read this regularly know I've been struggling with the time-travel [plot] device since I decided to write this book. How to do it? I, and my MC, are both physicists. So I can't just have a wizard wave a magic staff (as in the books I just finished reading). Elspeth's gonna analyze it, and try to explain it to Good Guy. I'd just about settled (as of this morning, even) on describing it as some sort of wormhole. Probably located in a cave, but possibly in a building instead. Guess who else is going the wormhole route (located in/near a boulder)?

Other Oh-Nos: I was gonna have Good Guy be betrothed to someone else before he met Elspeth, someone that would bring something to the clan (money, property, alliances, etc.), so that he couldn't allow himself to fall in love with her. And...her male lead is engaged/betrothed. Oh, and my MCs handfast. Her MCs handfast.

*sigh* Maybe great minds just think alike. And maybe our two stories won't be so similar once all is said and done. And then there's the fact that if I were an anonymous consumer, instead of one of the authors in question, I may end up buying both books because that kind of story appeals to me. I guess I'll just tough it out and see. This book is trying to write itself in my mind, so I can't very well ditch everything and start from scratch.

In good news, I did write a kick-ass draft for a query letter last night. Way early in the game, I know, but it's a draft. If I were an agent or editor, I would definitely represent/buy my book after reading that letter. *grin*

1 comment:

Jon said...

This is why I don't like forums about writing or writers' workshops.

Then again, I also haven't written anything in a damned long while.

Hang in there. Funks come with the territory; those are one thing all writers and their works doubtless have in common.