Sunday, July 29, 2007

The things that drive a writer to drink (heavily)

This is a sentence I wrote about a year and a half ago for a book that's still in progress because--well, I'm sure I've had really good reasons for shoving this one onto the back burner.

"During what I consider a previous lifetime, I’d been married to Nick for about ten minutes."

This is from Janet Evanovich's LEAN MEAN THIRTEEN, PAGE 4:

"Is this the Dickie you were married to for fifteen minutes in another life?"

So, you might be thinking that I can somehow hack into Ms. Evanovich's computer and lift such a little gem from her hard drive. Or possibly, I'm psychic enough to lift thoughts form her creative brain?

No. It's just one of those horrible coincidences. For me anyway. I now have to delete that line from my manuscript. No, it's not plagiarism. Even if I left the line the way I wrote it. I'm sure Ms. Evanovich wouldn't even furrow her brow if I kept my line.
But it would come off looking like I didn't have enough creativity to think of my own smart lines.

What's a little weird to me is that I bought the first Stephanie Plum book as soon as it was released because I was working on a mystery (my first, which explains why it no longer exists, even on my hard drive) that I had entitled "One For The Money". Yes, I wanted to write a series with numbers in the titles. I'm pretty sure Janet and I weren't the only writers who had that idea. Anyway, I wanted to read an author who'd had a similar idea to mine--even if it was only for a title. And I was impressed. I remember telling my sister about it. She read the book and loved it too. At the time she managed a bookstore and hand sold that book and all of the subsequent Plum books.

Still, even though it's just a couple of strange coincidences, I'm hoping that it means I can aspire to write as well as she does.


Sara Hantz said...

Yikes, Liz. It's scary when that sort of thing happens. And very frustrating too!!

Ann Wesley Hardin said...

I'm there with ya, kid. It's the Universal Consciousness biting us all in the a$$. YOu'll come up with a better line, I KNOW it.

Liz Wolfe said...

Thanks guys! It's really nice knowing there are people who know what I'm talking about...LOL.
For the rest of you -- Sara and Ann are two of my critique partners, not to mention excellent writers, themselves.
What? You thought I'd have crappy writers for critique partners?

spyscribbler said...

Oh, gosh, I HATE when that happens! I stopped reading my friends' work when I wrote a nearly identical scene as she did, one day. I wrote it, came home and read her chapter, and they were nearly the same! Freaky!