Posted by Angelica R. Jackson
Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination through the YA Highway site and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic: What SNI (shiny new idea) were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
The instance that really made me worry was when someone on Absolute Write made a comment about how my Spirits from the Vasty Deep description sounded like the Bloody Jack series--I rushed over to Amazon and read the blurb, which only deepened my worry into panic. There were some major similarities in their maritime adventures . . . But once I got my hands on Bloody Jack, it was obvious that the two books were completely different in tone, scope, and language. Whew!
They share a 19th century setting and a clever, sometimes saucy main character, but that was about it. Not even really enough similarities to use it as a comp title (the two I use are The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and the Blossom Culp books), but I think readers that enjoy one might enjoy the other.
But my teenaged attempts at novels were definitely straddling the line between an homage and outright fan fiction, though I couldn't see it at the time. I think that's part of finding your voice, trying on other people's to see how they fit, and for a while I was Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Sheri Tepper, Tanith Lee, Robin McKinley, and so on. And all in one book, I might add. Ouch.
What about you, have you ever poured your heart and soul into a book, only to discover someone else beat you to it? Don't forget to go to the comments on the YA Highway RTW post to see everyone else's answers!