NaNoWriNO! (Not rhino) (maybe rhino, actually)

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.


And here’s a rhino.


Filed under Adventures, My journey to writerhood, My Opinions on STUFF

14 responses to “NaNoWriNO! (Not rhino) (maybe rhino, actually)

  1. I would read that book. Get on it, missy!

    • Well…you’re going to read the book, whether you want to or not, because I’ll be hiring your editorial services. I will need sooooo much help; I can’t see past my own sentences to figure out what’s good and what’s got to go anymore.

  2. It is absolutely the year of the witch (think Coven and The Witches of East End). Remember, that publishing takes so long that by the time your genius (and I am not being snarky) is shared with the world, there will be a little distance between your book and the others. Also, as someone writing about ghosts and curanderas, there is a certain amount of similarity that applies to these stories across the board. As “they” (whoever they are) say, every story has been written. Your job is to make yours unique. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

    • Perhaps the Time of the Witch is finally upon us! Zombies can take a back seat for awhile. Witches, come forward!

      You are right, on all fronts. I must focus on writing a not-rehashed-sounding story and stop fretting over the pieces that hold common ground with other stories like mine. That would be a good way to sidestep this particular obstacle. You are smothered in wisdom and I thank you for sharing it with me!

      Mmm. Ghosts. I love ghosts, too. And chupacabras. Which are like the enemies of curanderos (though, really, shouldn’t that be CUREandero? Ha ha. :/ ) though not really.

  3. Totally agree with your ‘hive mind’ theory. I have wondered about that ever since one particular year when two movies came out, one in Australia and one in the US, both about a trio of road trippin’ drag queens. Coincidence? Nope. Hive mind!

    • …so….1994? Was that the year of road-tripping drag queens?
      Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it? I mean, there can really be no other explanation!

  4. Don’t give up on your book idea just because others have had similar ideas.. if you boil every story down, it’s all been done before.. you just have to do it YOUR way and shine.

    • You know (well, yes, you probably DO know, actually, otherwise you’d not have dispensed the advice), you are 100% correct.
      I think I’m using the “same ideas” conundrum as a reason to not face my worry that maybe I don’t know how to shine.
      Of course, the answer to that is to just try it and find out.
      But, dude: Scary.

      • So scary. I know.
        I want to write things that people will read, without letting people read the things that I write.

        • YES! YES! Exactly!
          Let’s form a club! I think…it will have to be called The Posthumous Club. But the good news is that there are some stellar people already in that group, so we’ll be in good company!

  5. Tamara

    I can’t wait to read your book.
    Let me know if I can do a little spell or chant or reading to help you along 😉

  6. Tyler J. Yoder

    I am going to volunteer to beta read because I am very excited about this idea. Also, I’m wondering what career path leads one to be the Entertainment Guru, because that’s my new dream career.

    • Ok. You are now on The List of tortured readers who must endure my rough drafts! Mwahahaha! You’ll have anti-depressants handy, yes? Cuz you’ll probably need ’em.

      You know, and I know this sounds hateful but I will say it anyhow, I’m fairly sure you have to be Jewish to be an Entertainment Guru, based on some of the Hollywood biographies I’ve read. I think you come from the wrong -ish religion. 😦 It’s ok, I don’t come from any religion at all so I will never even be in the running for Entertainment Guru.

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