Some authors can come up with plots like it’s no big deal. *coughstephenkingcough* And some others take a few years to even get a plot point that they think is worth going with. I kinda fall in between…sometimes I have a flash of brilliance and write down the plot idea in my little orange notebook, and other times I go through dry spells that leave me staring at those pages like they’re gold or something.
But wherever you fall on the spectrum…it still really, really sucks to find out later that one of your ideas has already been done! (Reminds me of “Simpsons Did It!”) This happened to me recently. A few years ago I came up with a pretty good plot idea, I thought. It wasn’t a story I would work on write away, maybe towards mid-life, but I kept it in the back of my mind and expanded on it when I had the time.
And then, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that it had ALREADY BEEN DONE. Almost ver-batim. And was a best selling novel. And a movie classic. (No, I won’t share which one it was, it’s that embarrassing.)
But regardless, it’s a horrible feeling. On one hand it’s nice to know that the idea would’ve been very well received granted it was never done before…but on the other you kinda have to wonder why you had to be born about thirty years too late.
Nothing quite so painful as opening up that orange notebook and putting a big “X” through that particular plot page. =(