Extrasensory plagiarism?

What to write…
This seems to be the most difficult question for me these days. I’ve started and stopped so many books in the past few months, and this is totally unlike me. Usually, I get an idea, I’m pumped, and I run with it.

Enter the stolen idea syndrome. Okay, no one really stole my idea, but it sure seemed like it. I had this great plot, and then, 1-2 chapters into it, out comes a movie with the same plot! I know, I know, there are only so many plots. And, truthfully, the first time I saw the ad for the movie (whose name I refuse to reveal), I still felt okay about it. The movie and my book were different enough to still be okay. Then came the trailer.

I got online one day to look up the movie trailer, which always has more detail than what’s advertised on the tube. It still seemed okay…until the scene. An identical, and I mean IDENTICAL scene as my absolute favorite one in my book!! What was this? Extrasensory plagiarism?

Needless to say, I screamed, I cried, I beat my fist against the desk…There was no way, even if my book didn’t get published for another two years, the someone, at some time, wouldn’t read it and say, “Hey! Shannon stole that scene from Movie X!!” I put the book away. I couldn’t write it. And, I was enough frustrated with the whole thing, that I couldn’t write anything else either. Thus, I have wasted much of the last two months doing nothing. I came up with a few more ideas…great ones, too! Books I’m really excited about. But they’re all so different, I don’t know what to write.

A group of close writer friends get together every month to set goals and talk about our writing. When it was my turn, I was very succinct…”Hello, I’m Shannon, and I’m a LOSER!” Thankfully, none of them believed me. They talked me down from the ledge. I was challenged. Write two pages from each of the three ideas I told them about. Fine. I could do that. (I thought.) Another friend suggested that perhaps the original story (cosmically stolen by some screenwriter somewhere) could be saved with an adjustment to that one scene. I didn’t think I could do that.
But, the next day, while working and thinking, I realized that the particular change my friend suggested could actually tie this book in with my first chick lit, connecting them in a way that could actually work to my benefit when either of them sell. Then, on top of it, the character that would be added to this book would be perfect for her own book! Hey, suddenly the world seemed a bit brighter! I’m not sunk. I’m not at the mercy of those idea-stealing Hollywood types. All I needed was a bit of a kick in the ass. A prod by friends who know what it’s like to be a writer and feel my pain.

Maybe I’ll get that next book out yet! Stay tuned!