WIP–Day Two (one step forward, two steps back)

Last  night, a good friend and I were emailing back and forth. She and I write for the same publisher, and we began describing our works-in-progress to one another. To our horror, we discovered that a major plot element in our stories is very, very similar. Frighteningly so. No publisher would publish two similar stories close together, so we knew we were in trouble. Or, more to the point, we knew I was in trouble. Since she is writing a series and has already set up this plot element in an existing book, she has legitimate dibs on the idea–and she’ll do a great job with it.
So, after freaking out all night, I was able to interrupt my agent’s vacation with a phone call. She feels the books are dissimilar enough to be okay, and of course, our style of writing is completely different. She suggested I capitalize on the differences, so I spent most of today thinking and getting in better touch with one particular character. I love what I came up with! Tomorrow my agent and editor will talk about the situation and I’ll await the “go ahead” or the “come up with another idea.” Keep your fingers crossed for me that this story will be a GO, because it’s a good one!


  1. Lorene on August 8, 2006 at 8:20 am

    Rats! If you continue with the same story will it be very difficult to keep your own train of thought as the two of you talk more? I am just amazed at the whole process and especially that you can take a suggestion and just write something other than what you were originally thinking of. Please keep doing the WIP entries. This is so very interesting.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on August 8, 2006 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for the feedback, Lorene. I think keeping the WIP entries will also help me stay on track, so I’m glad you find them interesting. Sometimes, when a story element doesn’t work for one reason or another, and I have to “rethink” what I’m doing, the story takes on an extra level of depth. So although it’s painful at the time, it’s akin to a window opening when a door closes. I hope I’ll hear today whether this book lives or dies. Meanwhile, I’ll work on my “hobby project”.

  3. Margo on August 8, 2006 at 9:38 am

    I love what I’ve read so far with your WIP…already Natalie and Haley have changed from being twins to several years apart so I have no doubt that the story will become different from your friends and very original as always with your own ‘voice’…my fingers AND toes are crossed on this one!!…(-:

  4. brenda on August 11, 2006 at 7:46 pm

    Do you realize that although I am sure you reached many people in your psychotherapy practice, you have reach many, many through your books.
    What better way for those of us who need to de-stress to read or reread one of your books???? You are touching lives one book at a time…one day at a time…

  5. diane on August 11, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    >>I am sure you reached many people in your psychotherapy practice, you have reach many, many through your books.

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