This weekend, I was able to spend a fair few hours editing Book1 so that now I just need to update the digital version of the manuscript and I am good to go! (Read: start actually writing the darned thing again.)
One of the reasons I have had to spend so much time reworking the first 40K words is because, as I mentioned in a previous post, I had some issues with a setting that seemed to too closely resemble a famous setting in a famous book about a famous boy with famous magical powers. Famous.
(Have I mentioned that it's famous?)
Because that setting is so famous, I was left with little choice but to change my setting. I adore the stories that feature that Famous Setting but Book1 isn't fanfic or even an homage.
This story has nothing to do with that Famous Boy or that Famous Setting. They're not even of the same world.
But I have to wonder... Where is the line?
At what point is an original work of fiction 'original enough'?
My Book1 has characters of a similar age to the ones in the Famous Setting stories. The protagonist in Book1 has issues with parent(s) not being available just as the protagonist in the Famous Setting stories does. My protagonist has friends who become like family, same as...
You get the idea.
It leaves me to wonder how a work is determined to be original... With all of the writers out there telling their stories in all their different ways, how can a single writer be sure that their story is, indeed, unique?
I understand that comparisons will be made between Book1 (if it's ever published) and other works of fiction. It's one of the most viable ways readers learn about new works. 'Hey! If you liked So-And-So, you'll love Such-And-Such!' And even what works they might want to avoid. 'For those who love the prose of Author M. Storywriter, stay well away from the ramblings of Faker D. Wannabe!'
I welcome such comparisons, though, positive and negative. There's a lot to be learned from both. (If I ever do read reviews! I'm well aware that that is a minefield many choose not to cross.)
In the meantime, however, am I the only writer who knows that their story hasn't been told before, but worries that it's 'original enough'?
(I also wonder at what point writers will simply run out of ways to string words together in any sort of unique way. But that's very philosophical for a Monday and I'm certainly hoping this doesn't occur in my lifetime, nor in the lifetimes of my children!)