I wanted to touch on something that several of us have faced recently. I've heard this said before and even offered the advice. But there's a sickening gut reaction that can't be explained when you come across a book that has a familiar plot or elements to the manuscript you are pouring your heart into.
I was looking at the new releases in the category romance line I am currently targeting. I saw a western book which immediately caught my eye because most of the books tend to be about CEO's and often have international settings. But after reading the blurb on the back...my face got hot and I thought I was going to be sick. Every single element of her book matched my plot. It's easy to see how a few elements might be similiar because...get this...no plot is new. But I've had this book outlined for TWO years and put it aside when I didn't get a response for an editor pitch contest the line had offered online. I mean...it was like my book twisted to fit her characters. My first thought was I'm wasting my time. Now it will look as if I took her idea after reading her book and twisted it with my voice and characters. Why would an editor take my ms seriously when she published one with the EXACT same plot? I've often heard of ed's passing on a ms because they'd recently pubbed one similiar to the submission.
So I started reading. I could barely get through the first chapter. It starts out with three cousins meeting on an airport tarmac...all three have private jets...and they're making a bet as to who can increase their net worth the most within a certain time limit... My book does include a bet in the beginning, but my character has a competitive quirk.
I didn't like it. Not because I was upset at the similiarities...but I genuinely did not like the heroine. She supposedly hates the hero, yet she agrees to having dinner with him just so she can tell him no. She would NEVER even consider selling her ranch to him. But she shows up...to a private dinner on a ranch...in a designer gown. She's hiding a secret...the man is her baby's daddy and she doesn't want him to find out...yet she gives in to have dinner with the man the first time he asks.
I can do this. If the editor turns it down...I'll try to send it somewhere else. I LOVE my story. It's easy to see the differences but with the plot being almost exactly the same, I'm afraid that even with the different voices it will be too similiar. Maybe if I wait awhile before submitting it'll put enough distance between books. At least I know the ed likes the plot premise;) Voices are different which can make our characters and reactions unique. So I'm off to work on my next chapter.
Summer of Discernment
1 day ago