Being a published freelance author here at alandapre.com and beyond I have to be alert to trends and what is going around. Or do I?
Thinking back I realise that I have actually had quite a few ideas similar to stuff that has appeared on TV or in books and – rather annoyingly – someone else has got there first. Year back I drafted a grandiose screenplay for the life of Van Gogh, basing it on his letters only to see a film come out (of nowhere) which rendered the idea dead in the water. I know that sometimes 3 Robin Hoods come along at once but there’s only so much Van Gogh one can take. Currently I am looking at the TV output on CBeebies and seeing progs that share a theme or character type that I have been developing. Baby Jake is one such show – the idea of a family of older brothers and sisters (with names in alphabetical order) and an adventurous youngster has long been with me. Pity then I didn’t get the character out in the right format – but it’s been one I have wrestled with for ages so I put him to bed. Or, more accurately, in a bottom drawer.
Still, I am not unduely worried. There is something fascinating and comforting that I am still having ideas that have merit (even though others do them first) for it means I’m not on the creative scrapheap. Besides, there are only 36 plots (or 7 or any number you can think of) so there must be a lot of recycling. A friend of mine believes there is an ideas cloud of creativity that we all tap into and so similar themes and ideas are generated at the same time. You just have to get them quicker than others or not worry about it. At the moment I am happily pursuing a story idea and am writing it damn quick before that cloud dribbles my moneyspinning bestseller into someone else’s earhole.
Okay – enough about coincidences, bad timing, simultaneous discovery – but remember you heard/read about it here first!