It’s been over two months since the last time I participated in YA Highway’s RTW. Sad. So I get to today–yay!

But first, a quick story. When I sleep really well (which isn’t often), I’m usually somewhat groggy all day. (I think it’s because my body wants more of that delicious sleep.) Well, I’ve been sleeping really well this week, so this whole week I’ve been in a thin fog. I opened my browser to log in to my blog and write my post, but started writing “wonder” instead of “WordPress.” I have NO idea where “wonder” came from. I mean, I really like WordPress, but I don’t think that quite explains it.

Anyhow, thought that was funny. On to the Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

We’d love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link — or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week’s Topic:

What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?

My answer is SPARKS, but first version of my current WIP, FRACTURED RADIANCE. And it similarities are precisely why I completely trashed an entire draft, reworked the plot, changed almost all of the character names, and started all the way back at the very beginning.

I won’t go into detail (because that’ll give away some of FR), but SPARKS featured lots of world mythology (Rick Riordan), a magical school (Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, and twenty-million other books), and the last book featured a hunt for items (Harry Potter). There were other over-done components of the book, but those were the most obvious. I started realizing how unoriginal the book was at the beginning of last year, and it took until Septemberish (can’t remember exactly the date), for me to realize it needed tweaks, and then again in November I realized it needed a complete new plot. Talk about a heavy case of denial, eh? And I’m so glad I did it! So, listen to that nagging voice in your head (if it won’t go away for a while). It’s probably right.

Have you ever trunked a book or idea because the idea was already done/overdone?


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I write speculative fiction inspired by mythos from around the world, complex family dynamics, and my own experiences living with mental illness. After earning my BA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University in 2008, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in 2012. I live in Denver, where my husband and I spend countless hours chasing our three young sons (and sometimes catching them!). I collect tarot decks, dye my hair mermaid colors, and procrastinate by decorating my home. My debut novel, Feathers Sharp as Knives, releases on May 2, 2023.

9 thoughts on “RTW!

  1. I once wanted to write a book about a guy traveling around and meeting the embodiments of various character archetypes in the modern day, then realized it was a little too similar to AMERICAN GODS. But I was OK with trashing it because AMERICAN GODS is decidedly more brilliant than whatever I would have written.

    1. I’m currently reading AMERICAN GODS! In fact, as I started reading about your SNI I thought, “That sounds like AMERICAN GODS.” Hah! And I can see why you’d be intimidated–not only is it Neil Gaiman, but also at only 80 pages in, I can tell it’s going to be brilliant.

  2. As long as you are happy with what you are doing, then go for it. I’ve scrapped and rewritten my last one three times now, and it’s in a much better place every time.

  3. Ahhh, we are RTW karmic sisters. Except I was a fail because WordPress ate my post today and I gave up in a snit. But really, when one has an epiphany about mermaids, and wants to write an angst-filled book about said mermaids, and then one queries and is told again and again that one has written a great story but there are just too many damn mermaids out there…well…pass the scotch. Still, in your case it sounds like you were able to bring in a new twist. Maybe you can send me some pointers…

  4. Yes, I briefly had an idea once about a girl who could fly… and then remembered there’s already a book called … (wait for it)… The Girl Who Could Fly. Which I hear is an excellent book and which my daughter actually owns and I have yet to get around to reading! So, I have no idea what that book is really about other than the fact that the MC can fly. Maybe my idea might have been different. But it quickly became a fleeting thought!

  5. I actually had totally forgotten that the reason I changed my character’s name (Isabelle Brandt) was because of the similarity to Bella Swan (a brandt is a sea goose). Probably not bad enough to be a dealbreaker if the rest of the book had been stellar, but my crit partners definitely commented on it.

  6. This: “listen to that nagging voice in your head (if it won’t go away for a while). It’s probably right.”

    I’m always fighting off the voice because what it’s telling me to do is too intimidating, but when I finally listen, the voice is usually right.

  7. It’s interesting how frequently magic schools and other Harry Potter similarities are showing up on this Road Trip Wednesday. I’m glad you followed that little voice and figured out how to rework your plot. Best of luck with it!

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