They Stole It Before I Thought Of It!

A few years ago I outlined a story about a police department that dealt with supernatural crimes called the Unnatural Unfortunate Incidents Department, or U.U.I.D. Last year the R.I.P.D. movie came out and I learned it was based on a comic book by Peter M. Lenkov. I’d never heard of the comic before and even though I didn’t watch the movie (I heard it was bad) I had a profoundly sad moment of “There goes another one.”

I’m sure it’s happened to every writer at some point. That special, original idea that turns out to be the end of The War of the Worlds. (I mean, honestly, why haven’t I read The War of the Worlds yet?) It’s frustrating because it’s unintentional, but in the end it just doesn’t feel right to go ahead with the idea.

We’ve all heard it before – “There’s no such thing as an original idea.” I don’t know if I subscribe to that theory, but I’m feelin’ it today.

The good news is that while I was reading the first two chapters (which is as far as I ever got) I realized that I actually liked it, and I might have something I can work with later. It won’t be a police department anymore, but maybe I can think of a hilarious office setting where the boss is really awkward and…no, wait.

So, tell me, has this ever happened to you? Did you take it in stride? Did you scream, curse, and throw things out the window? The second one sounds like more fun, frankly.

3 thoughts on “They Stole It Before I Thought Of It!

  1. Carrie Rubin September 5, 2014 / 10:35 pm

    That did happen to me once with a story idea. Luckily I hadn’t gotten very far into the planning phase. Since I write medical thrillers, much has already been done, so I suspect it’ll happen to me again in the future.

    I saw RIPD. It had some good laughs. Jeff Bridges was great in it.

    • Holly Geely September 5, 2014 / 10:37 pm

      I think my favourite part of writing is planning so I suppose it’s no big deal, but it was such a fun idea.

      I might end up watching it anyway…once the pain has faded. 😉

      • Carrie Rubin September 5, 2014 / 10:39 pm

        And Ryan Reynolds is always easy on the eyes…

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