I was going to write about fractured fairy tales; how to take an old story that everyone knows and twist it around. Give it a new protagonist. Look at the story from a different character’s POV. Find a new setting. There are a hundred way to make it your own, create something new.
I was doing just that. I was rewriting The Boy Who Cried Wolf. My version was The Wolf Who Cried Boy, the same story told through the eyes of the wolf.
Half way through writing, I thought I should look at some versions of the original. I might find some details which might enhance my own story. Well, guess what I found. It’s been done. The Wold Who Cried Boy was published by Puffin in 2004. It was written by Bob Hartman and illustrated by Tim Raglin. It looks really cute!
Really it’s not a huge loss. I have dozens of manuscripts written and many more in me. I wasn’t pinning all of my hopes on this story.
So, why keep writing?
1. To get the ideas out of my head and on the paper.
2. Practice! Everything I write makes me a little bit better.
3. Deadlines. I had two days to finish a story for my 52 First Drafts Project.
4. A sense of accomplishment.
5. Maybe it’ll be great and someone will still want it. I can dream.
The thing is, it was difficult to finish, even with all of these great reasons to do so. I am not good at self motivating without a strong goal. Usually my motivation is that I might someday publish the piece. I’m funny that way.
But I did it, and at least I was at an early stage in the writing process. I was attached, but not too attached.
I would love to hear from others who have discovered that an idea they have labored over was not as original as they has hoped.