I’m writing a book
I know, who isn’t, right?
It’s a young adult novel about witches and stuff and I’ve come upon a…well, it’s not really a problem but it is an obstacle.
See, when I first started my work, now over a year ago, I checked out stories about witches, from compendiums to picture books. There’s a lot of witchery out there and yet it’s never really gone mainstream in the young adult (YA) fantasy world, despite the efforts of Harry Potter and his ilk. For some reason, vampires and werewolves still have the limelight while angels/demons and fae traipse right behind. I’m cool with that but I still wonder: Why not witches? It’s like they’re always the tagalong little sister.
So I started writing, declaring to myself, “I will bring witches to the forefront! Single-handedly! Because I am just that good” and then I stopped writing for a long time. I began again this past summer and found that during my hiatus, a lot of people were able to get their witch stories out into the world. I’ve since read four different stories that have elements I had incorporated into mine or are, at least, similar. I have five chapters of Part I finished and three chapters of Part II and now I have to go through and change a lot of things because I don’t like thinking the few potential people to read this book of mine will be all, “Oh, she totally stole that from that OTHER book I read” and it will really look that way because everyone will be able to see, via Goodreads, that I read those books before publishing mine.
I’m going to dial back and ask a more broad question: What’s going on with this hive mind think thing? I see it all the time in entertainment but always figured some entertainment guru gives each medium an annual assignment. For instance, Entertainment Guru says to Movie Industry, “We want to see flicks about turn of the century magicians battling a newfound sense of disbelief and cynicism amongst their audiences which, in turn, turns the magicians murderous” and then three movies with that theme all pop up. Think “The Prestige” and “The Illusionist” (Right, that’s only two. I know that) They were out at the same time and about old time magicians. What are the chances? Well, probably pretty good if that’s the assignment the Entertainment Guru gave at the beginning of the year. This also happens with books, it happens with music, with video games. I’ll bet it happens with plays, photography, mixed media art, fashion, paintings, sculpture, and every other form of artistic expression. I’ve always just assumed that someone was putting the idea out there and everyone was picking it up and following but when I had my own ideas and kept them mainly to myself and then I saw them cropping up other places, well, I might have been wrong about the Guru giving out assignments. Maybe it’s a form of hive mind. Maybe we’re connected to others who think like we do, maybe we share a wavelength and the information travels between all of us even if we’ve never met, even if we don’t live in the same city, state, or even country. Maybe that’s why pieces of my story are showing up in other people’s books?
Another explanation of course, is that since I’m playing with witchcraft, magic is involved. When my book goes live, some new writer will read it and go, “Damnation. There goes my great idea. Back to the drawing board,” because that’s how magic works. According to me, at least.
I should wrap this up by saying that I’m NaNoWriMoing my book, that I’m going to spend this month creating a roughly-formed novel that I can then edit to my heart’s content over the next several months. Yeah, no. I’m not doing that. I don’t actually work on my writing for the last three months of the year because all my creativity is channeled elsewhere. When I’m a famous author, that will sound cool and well-rounded instead of like an excuse, as it does now.
But if you are NaNoWriMoing, GET ON IT! Get that idea out and on paper – virtual or literal. You can totally do this! Just, please, don’t take any more of my ideas. I won’t have anything left.