Friday, April 22, 2011

Secret Stash

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S: Story Ideas

images (2)I’m not really paranoid about protecting information. I bank online; all my contact info (barring home address and phone number) is readily available on this blog. And since the beginning, I’ve not only used my real name here, but I haven’t been shy about throwing it around. What’s the point of building a platform if no one can see who’s standing on it?

I also haven’t been shy with my MS, either. I talk about it a lot, the query is posted here in three different places, and I even named three of my dogs after characters from it. Again, the more people know about it, the more they may want to know. I want people interested; I want people to talk about it.

Maybe I’m being naïve about internet safety, but I just don’t feel the threat most people do. My mantra: “I’m not important enough to steal from.” Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but it works for me.

On the other hand, I have three projects I’m actively working on, and several more ideas after that, and you know what? I’m not saying a word about them. No overview, no blurb, no hints. Nada. Maybe I’m being paranoid, and to this point, as far I know, no one has actually stolen an idea from me, but countless times I’ve come up with a great idea only to discover it had actually been done years ago.

I recently had an idea for a dark version of Hansel and Gretel taking place after the fact. Guess what? Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters coming to a theatre near you, Spring 2012.

The point is, original ideas are hard to come by, and I’m a slow writer. Someone could latch onto my idea and bang out a query-ready MS while I’m still halfway through the first draft. I’m not saying anyone would intentionally steal my idea, but where do our ideas come from? I accidentally stole from Firefly and didn’t even realize it until years later when I Googled “Unification Day”.

What do you think? Am I wrong to keep my ideas under lock and key, or to think anyone even cares about them? Or is it smart to keep your WiP’s under wraps under they’re fully prepared to face the world in all their glory?


  1. Chances are someone will come up with the same ideas as you (if they haven't already) whether you reveal yours to the world or not. Your only protection with an original idea is to do it now and quickly and get it finished.

    Moody Writing

  2. No original ideas only different ways to present them.

  3. I'm the same way. I do pretty much everything on the internet, but when it comes to my writing projects, I stay pretty quiet, keep my head down, and keep working.

    About 15 years ago I posted something online (a fan project if you will, something I thought that was insignificant) that was completely ripped off by someone else and posted on their own website as if they had created it. I found it by accident and fortunately was able to get them to take it down.

    That always stayed with me, and even though it wasn't as serious as someone stealing my novel and publishing it under their name, I still remember that feeling of something I worked hard on being essentially stolen.

    Mary made a good point though - there are really no original ideas, just different ways to mix and match them to come up with something "new".

  4. they can take my good ideas....the bad ones will be all mine!