Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lock and Key?

I contemplated entering a few contests lately with my current WIP (work in progress). But for starters it isn't done yet. That's kind of a drawback, just ask any agent or editor! LOL Anyway, another thing holding me back is the whole secret nature of my idea. Writers and readers alike I know are plagued with heartache over secret revelation. For a published writer it means lawsuit. For an unpublished writer it can mean suicide. Basically all stories are the same. They are mostly the same basic elements built with new and different twists and turns. They all have similar elements, albeit in skeleton form. this is what makes books all the more intriguing to me. Peoples minds are the sole difference in what becomes the written page. It amazes me that people can come up with the ideas and stories that they do!

So right now, I'm wondering. As a yet unrepresented and unpublished writer how much should I give of my storyline, if anything? And how much do I keep under lock and key? I mean, we(unrepped and unpubbed writers) walk a very fine line in today's social media day and age. It can help us immensely and,, most of the time I think that's exactly what it does. I want to share my idea a little to see if it takes off. I want to see what kind of response I get to it. To me, what I'm writing right now is a very new and fresh idea than what is currently on the market. And then I think, "But doesn't every writer believe that in their heart about their work?"

So my question to other like me and readers alike, to anyone really is this: How much do you share? How much do you keep to yourself? How do you protect yourself from ugly idea stealing? How many contests do you enter? How much do you put out their on blogs/facebook/twitter in general? How do you protect yourself? Or do you just go for it and hope for the best?

The chances of someone stealing my idea and then writing it and querying it are pretty good really, if they have time. I find time to be a HUGE stumbling block in my writing so.... I know that may sound like I think my idea is the cats meow. So let me assure you, I DO! If I didn't I couldn't put the passion and power behind the words that tell the story the way it deserves to be told. And sadly, I know, at the end of the day, If I don't write it. Someone else surely will. It's all about time.

My completed novel was, for some reason, MUCH easier to share generously. I don't know why that was. I didn't worry about it like I do this one. Not sure whether I'm just more paranoid or crazy or what! Probably all of the above!

Ok - back to writing! :)

6 comments:

C.A. Marshall said...

I'd be wary of plastering the internet with your novel idea or query but I think it's okay to share them for contests. If it's a reputable contest there won't be any idea stealing going on, and you probably won't want to enter non-reputable ones anyway. The same with reputable agents and editors; they're real people too. They have morals.

I think it's safe to assume that every idea has already been written anyway. Like you said, any two authors can write the same book and they'll turn out completely different.

For instance, Nicola Morgan released a Young Adult novel about a 14-year-old boy called Luke who has synaesthesia. and then a month later Tim Bowler released a Young Adult novel about a 14-year-old boy called Luke who has synaesthesia. See more here: http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-someone-got-there-first.html

You'd be surprised how many of the same plot lines come across in query inbox. The thing that matters most, and the only thing you can really ever control anyway, is to write the best book you can.

Carolyn V. said...

What a good question Melony. One I've wondered myself and don't have an answer to. Let me know if you get an answer. =)

Sara B. Larson said...

I think if it's reputable and a safe format, then go for it. Agents aren't in the business of stealing ideas, so any agent contests shouldn't be worrisome. Good luck!

Charity Bradford said...

Very good question. Sometimes I feel like I've posted too much, but then I think it may be the only posting that ever happens.

I've posted character interviews and my first page, and even that makes me nervous. Oh, and this week my conflict list. Luckily, like you mentioned the conflicts could fit into almost any story. So maybe I'm fine.

Bethany Wiggins said...

I used to be nervous about stuff like this, but now I'm not. Even if someone steals your idea, they can never steal your voice!

BTW, I gave you an award on my blog.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've entered a few contests and posted a few tidbits from my wip on my blog, but mostly I avoid doing it. Though I recently entered on query contest not realizing my query would be posted on the blog. In the end I decided not to withdraw it because I'd get feedback from commenters and maybe the judge.

The only reason I even have the tidbits is because I'm trying to prove a point I'm making in my post, not because I'm hoping an agent will discover my post, read the sample, and beg for a full. ;)

Great post!

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