On behalf of the "Insecure Writers Support Group" Web-logging-Wednesday - I thought I'd share a writing dilemma that I hope I am not the only person to have had. If I am, well... that would be embarrassing. So, even if you haven't, consider saying you did to prove your angelic nature.
Have you ever enjoyed a season of being wrapped up in your writing? You've been working, and brainstorming and getting excited about the fruits of your labor. Then, you pause briefly to step back and breathe in the finished work, only to choke slightly because you realize that something brilliant you've added to your book resembles an element of someone else's book. Egads! What do you do now? I mean, it's not like the story is a carbon copy. In fact, the point of what you've written is to get across a very different story! There are plenty of differences! It wasn't on purpose! In fact, if you think about it- you came up with it before you ever read that other book!
Aside from this being somewhat discomfiting, the real trouble comes as you begin to wonder, "what do I do now?" Does it need to be changed? Do you twist it into something different? If you don't will you be passed over by agents? Or worse! - what if it isn't passed over by agents, but the scathing reviews fill Amazon and Goodreads (etc.,) about how the book is just a poor rendition of "Awesome Book That Now Holds the Rights to All Things Cool Therefore Negating Anything Cool and Original in Your Book". Admit it, you've all seen those reviews - maybe you've even written one yourself (no, judging, I promise).
While the solution is rarely simple, it eventually has to be made, and the writing moves on. But, now the question of truth - anyone else faced that sinking feeling of worry upon such a discovery? If so, did you end up keeping the "familiar element", alter it into unique-ness, or nix it right off?