It’s all in the execution, baby

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

You come up with this awesome book idea. It’s high concept. It has universal appeal. It will make readers laugh, cry and beg for more. You grab some paper (or a lap top) and jot down notes, convinced that this time — this time — you have the next big thing.

Then it happens. You’re about 20,000 words into your awesome idea and need a break. You go to the local bookstore and find out that “Big Name Author” has already used your awesome idea — and now it’s selling quite well.

So you go home. You rant. You rave. You even cry. Then you bury your awesome idea determined that it will never see the light of day again. Maybe.

This has happened to me — numerous times. Anyone feel my pain? Sometimes it isn’t even Big Author’s idea. It’s a critique partner’s most recent sale, or a movie trailer, or… you get the idea. “If I only wrote a little faster…”

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter. Who cares that Big Author already wrote a paranormal romance involving wererats and flying monkeys? It doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing. Perhaps you could even do it better.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to copy Big Author’s idea verbatim. I’m just saying that if Big Author made a flying-monkey-and-wererat-fight-for-independence-from-Big Evil story, that doesn’t mean you should trash your manuscript.  Two different authors can take the same high concept and come up with two totally different stories.

There’s an old saying: There are no new ideas under the sun. For writers – as with any artist – it’s  all in the execution.

Don’t believe me? Check out this youtube video by Axis of Awesome. It shows how many of the famous songs we love use the same four chords over and over again. It’s quite humorous, but at the same time enlightening. (Be careful, as there is a swear word in the middle – you’ve been warned. 😉 )

So dust off that awesome idea and give it a chance. Who knows? You might write the next big thing. 😉

And finally, if you have some spare time, hop on over to Coffee Time Romance. There,  a bunch of writers from Loose Id and I will be holding a reader’s retreat. Here’s the official announcement…


Loose Id’s Readers’ Retreat at Coffee Time RomanceStarts March 1st!

Some exciting events and activities have been planned! Here is just a sampling:

Lissa Matthews and Suzanne Rock will be interviewing each other on 1 March and 18 March.

On 7 March, Ali Katz will give away a copy of her book, The Highwayman. Also, anyone who visits her guestbook and signs on that day will be entered into Passion in Spades Monthly Drawing for March. She will also announce a monthly drawing on 9 March, so look for that.

On 8 March, G.G. Royale will post the humorous article “Everything I Needed to Know about Treating Other People I Learned on a Kittenplay Forum.”

S.W. Vaughn will give a title away on 10 March. The reader will get to chose from three different titles.

Look for exciting theme days, when many authors may be poking their heads in to share and chat. Saturday, 6 March covers contemporary erotic romance, mystery, and suspense. On 7 March, we’ll have historical, westerns, and action/ adventure. For those of you that like to let your mind explore far-off worlds, come to the forum on 13 March for science fiction, fantasy, and time travel.  If you’re not tied up on 14 March, stop in for BDSM and all the deliciousness that comes with that. 20 March is our last day in the forum, and that will be given over to the darker side, to the vampires, shape-shifters, and paranormal stories.

So mark your calendars and your browser’s bookmarks and make sure to join us throughout the month of March.


I’ll be over there all month – so stop by and say ‘hi’!

5 Responses to “It’s all in the execution, baby”
  1. This is true. All you can do is put your unique spin on the content and approach and write it anyway.

  2. There’s a quote by Joss Whedon that I love “If you have a good idea, get it out there. For every idea I’ve realized, I have ten I sat on for a decade till someone else did it first. Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”

    My worst experience with this came when Avon rejected a full manuscript because the premise was too similar to an already contracted book from one of their big authors. So heartbreaking. But that’s life:)

    It’s definitely true that no two authors will write the same story from the same idea.

    But it’s also true that there’s probably only room for one zombie armegeddon series at the same publisher no matter how you execute! LOL

  3. Susan Blexrud says:

    As you said, there are no new ideas. I frequently hear from new authors who are afraid to submit their manuscripts because they think someone will steal their once-in-a-lifetime idea. I tell them that no one else can write their book. It’s not the idea that counts, it’s each author’s unique interpretation of the idea.

  4. Chandra Ryan says:

    I do feel your pain! And I loved the post 🙂 I try to remind myself that there are no new ideas whenever I come across one of my brilliant ideas already running around out there out there, but hearing others are going through the same thing always helps too.

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