BLOGGER TEMPLATES - TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Writing and the Seen It All Before Syndrome (SABS) by Nicki J Markus....



Today I was browsing some book blogs and one book title jumped out at me, sending a cold shiver down my spine. Why? It was the same title I had used for my latest story, recently sent to the publisher for their consideration.

I quickly looked up the author and book in question, desperate to find a synopsis. Finally, I pulled the blurb up on the screen and was able to put my mind at rest - the story was nothing like mine. But it got me thinking....

Writer’s have a tough job these days. We need something original to catch the eye of a publisher (though not too original it scares them off), yet at the same time we need to watch out for copyright and plagiarism infringement. How often have I come up with an idea, mulled it over, gotten excited...and then realised it is simply a rehash of a book I read a few years ago.

Earlier this year, I read a book that was so similar to a book I’d read only a few months before that I couldn’t concentrate on the new book, my mind too full of comparisons with the previously read title.

I’ve named this type of occurrence SABS – Seen It All Before Syndrome. As a reader it is mildly annoying, as a writer it is an issue devoutly to be feared. With so many books out there (even more than before with the rise of e-books and the smaller e-publishers), it is so hard to think up something 100% new and original; so many of the ideas seem to be already taken. And since no one could possibly read every single book in the world, it is impossible to know for sure that your marvellous idea isn’t old news.

There is no sure fire way around this. I guess the best thing a writer can do is try to read as many books as possible in their chosen genre. That way you should get a reasonable idea of what is already out there. Then pick up your pen, open your mind and hope for the best as the ink fills the page!

Nicki J Markus was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist. She launched her writing career in 2010. She writes non-fiction articles and reviews for Suite101.com and several of her fiction pieces have recently been published by Wicked Nights Publishing. For more information on her and her writing, visit her website: http://www.nickijmarkus.org.uk/.

6 comments:

anny cook said...

I don't think you written truer words...

Amarinda Jones said...

Actually not my words...but very true

Nicki J Markus said...

Thanks for having me over, Amarinda!

Sandra Cox said...

Isn't that the truth. And how can you have a completely original story when stories are based on thoughts and ideas we've picked up from everything that surrounds which come from others, even simple things like words. Its a head scratcher.

Sandra Cox said...

Your book looks good, Nikki.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

So true, so true! Sometimes I think if I read too much of it, the ideas will mesh and blur and then I'll really lose track of what was what. Just remember - there is truly nothing new under the sun. So you have to do it in your own style and in your own way, that will make it unique to you.

Great blog, Nikki!