I Could Have Written That–NOT! by Christine

Every writer out there probably has a story about someone who has given them an idea and then told them to go write the book. I wish it were only that simple–or maybe I don’t because then think of the writing competition there would be out there.

My story is just a little different. More years ago than I care to admit, my husband and I watched a news story about how computers were getting so small that one man had made one he could wear as a pair of glasses. One eye was a tiny screen and the other was a regular lens presumably so he could see where he was going.

I was fascinated by the story and could definitely see story possibilities for it in the S/F arena. But I couldn’t write it.

Not long after that, Star Trek introduced the Borg story line and I would be willing to bet that the writer has seen or read some version of that (or a similar) news story on the coming connectivity.

Now of course, the idea of being plugged into the collective (ie the internet) 24-7 seems commonplace but at the time, it was cutting edge.

But just because you know something, doesn’t mean you can write it.

I was reminded of this yet again today as I read the digests of a writer’s group called Murder Must Advertise. There was a discussion on TV news (or the lack thereof) in America today and several people who had made a living that way before were commenting. The comment that stuck with me was from someone who was really steamed about the changes in the industry, but who felt too close to the whole deal to write about it. It seems incredible but true.

I’m not saying that writers can’t write more than one genre or change from non-fiction to fiction writing. But I do believe we all have our niches.

What I’d really like to know is if anyone has ever taken someone else’s idea (hey, you should write about Blah blah. I’ll give you the details and you’ll have a best seller on your hands and make us both rich.) and gotten published.


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