Somebody else already wrote it: What now?

The book I was writing has just been published… by somebody else.

Dr. Casey Lawrence
44 min readAug 25, 2019

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Finding out that an idea you’ve just come up with has already been done can be disappointing. It happens to every writer, and it’s always a let down. That “absolutely unique” plot point you were so excited over is actually a genre cliche. The twist in your psychological thriller has already been used by Stephen King — twice. Your mom tilts her head to the side as you explain your new story idea and asks, “Isn’t that just like that one Tom Cruise movie?” We’ve all been there. But it really stings when you’re already working on a project and someone gets it done before you.

“Babe, someone already wrote our story. It’s going to be a movie, I just saw the trailer and it’s exactly the same as what we wrote.”

Just under three years ago when my partner Rhys Lemoine and I had just started seeing each other, we had the brilliant idea of collaborating on a novel together. We were both writers; I had just published my second YA book, and he wrote non-fiction for a rewilding blog. We both loved science fiction and were in that honeymoon phase in our relationship where we were passing our favourite books back and forth to get a better feel for each other. He lent me Robert J. Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, and I knew I was in love.

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Dr. Casey Lawrence

Canadian author of three LGBT YA novels. PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Check out my lists for stories by genre/type.