There is a brand-new book out right now that’s apparently poised to be the next YA novel to explode on the market; some reviewers are saying this will be the next Hunger Games.
The book is called Matched, by Allie Condie.
My recent short story, the one I am submitting to magazines right now, is called Paired.
And it is about pretty much the same damn thing!!
My story isn’t presented as a dystopian future, though. I thought that has been overdone, so I didn’t go that way. Mine’s an alternate version of our world, right now, if things had gone differently in WWII. The main idea is that people are paired up with something that they are genetically compatible with. The government does this to eliminate hereditary diseases, mostly. There are darker shades to it, because the science did originally come from Nazis back in the day, but overall our government has morphed all of that science over decades of work to make it serve this supposedly-noble purpose. (Besides, it was interesting to try to figure out a way to somehow make the scientific work done by Germany in the 1940s not as horrible in the long run, which is NOT EASY by any stretch. But it was a fun writing exercise!)
My two main characters find out they are Paired, and the girl is excited to meet her Pairing, but the guy isn’t, because he already is deeply in love with someone else. My story is about what happens to them. Nothing super complicated or depressing, really.
Still, what a freakin’ coincidence! How in the world could I have come up with this concept and named my story Paired, and then this book comes out months later with the similar title of Matched? Obviously, I know that the author of Matched wasn’t able to steal my idea, so I’m not thinking that or anything. But wow, it’s still so weird that a major book release would come out that is so, so close to my own story, right now!
That makes two books this year that are very similar to my stories. (The first being Lucy, which is similar to my book Breedless.)
While I’m kind of bummed out now because whatever publications I submit Paired to from this point on will likely think I ripped off Matched, I’m oddly happy about this news for one very big reason:
I think my ideas are market-worthy!
Clearly, I am coming up with the type of things on my own that are what’s selling to readers today. That is good news. I’m kind of excited that I came up with the idea of Paired on my own, wrote it, finished it and sent it to some magazines, and then a major book comes out with the same basic concept. Matched handles it much differently, overall, because the matches in that book appear to truly have a sinister side and the book is meant to be the first in a 3-book series. But it’s cool that I have these kind of ideas too, the kinds that professional authors are having! And I know for a fact I was not copying anything when I wrote it. I was all jazzed about having a new idea and actually seeing it through.
Now I am feeling kind of energized again. I feel like I really might have a good shot at something. Oh, and Paired did not place in the Glimmer Train Fall 2010 Fiction Open (they awarded the top 25 stories) and I was bummed to find that out on Tuesday. But it doesn’t matter, really. I am just going to work on my current two books, like always, and I’m also going to start my next short story.
Yesterday on the way to work, I was watching these two drivers a lane over from me, and feeling a mixture of amusement and fear because one was tailgating the other, and the car being tailgated wasn’t tapping the brakes or anything like that. However, she was slowing down ever-so-slightly as she drove, just to piss off that driver behind her. It was totally passive aggressive and that made me think about the term passive aggressive itself.
Within minutes I had a new idea. I’m going to write a story about a person who has been wrongly severely and possibly even ends up in, say, a car accident, as a result of someone else’s actions. This person is in a coma, and no one knows if he or she will wake up.
However, the reader knows the person is still alive in there, because we learn from his or her point of view that he/she is able to have out of body experiences and go to the people who have wronged him or her and telepathically deliver payback.
So, my title would be Passive Aggression. (Please tell me you get it.)
You read it here first, everyone. I swear this is my original idea, on the life of my pets. If you do know of a story like this that exists already, or anything like that, it’s truly coincidence. AND, if a book is published in a few months with this same general concept, you and I will know the truth. I had the idea, too, and so… I rule! Hee hee hee.
Overall, 2010 has to be the strangest and most emotional year for my writing, ever. First Writer Ex’s book comes out… then Lucy is released… and now, Matched.
The universe is really screaming at me to FINISH WHAT I START. I have to write. There is no excuse any more. I have good ideas, so it’s time to stop letting them go to waste.