Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Do You Read It?

I've started to sub my new YA chapters to my fabbo critique group. As I'm giving them a synopsis, one of the gals says "Oh, have you read XX? It sounds similar."

Now, to a writer, there is almost nothing so stomach-dropping as that sentence. One of my favorite threads on a Verla Kay's board was called Someone Wrote My Book - And Won A Newbery. Even though everyone writes a different book, blah blah blah, the last thing you want is to spend an enormous amount of time on a book that's just like something that is already out there. "But I'm different," you say. "Unique. This story has never been told before." Uh huh.

So I spent an hour or so frantically researching this book, and (whew), it's actually quite different. There are a few elements that are similar, but the focus in my book is in a different place. The only thing is, School Library Journal gave it a pretty stinko review (BookList did like it though), and some of their comments could apply to my book.

The $1,000,000 question is: should I read the book? The last thing I want is to "unintentionally internalize" someone else's work, but I'd hate to repeat someone else's mistakes.

On this date: In 1991, hostage Terry Anderson is freed in Lebanon after 2,454 days in captivity.

1 comment:

Disco Mermaids said...

Gotta love when that happens. I know you know this recently happened to me, but when the book (two of them, actually) came out, people were telling me that my premise was exactly the same, and had some freakishly similar scenes.

My agent suggested that I have my fellow Disco Mermaids (Jay and Robin) read them and let me know if and where mine is similar. I think that's a good suggestion, so that nobody can ever accuse me of stealing their ideas if I never actually read the book.

So, I think having someone in your critique group read it is a good idea. Just a thought. I'm so sorry to hear about this. Pain in the ass, isn't it??

Good luck with everything!