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13 January 2009 @ 12:12 am
Of all the silly things...  
Here's an odd one for you:

For a fantasy story I've recently been circulating to magazines, I made up some terminology for people who have certain abilities.  They were simple, generic terms, but I'd never heard anyone use them in this particular way before, and neither, apparently, had my friends and beta-readers.

Last week I saw a trailer for a film that's coming out soon -- and the film uses both of the pieces of terminology I thought I'd invented, one of them in an identical way, one of them in a slightly different way.

I'm pretty sure nobody stole from me; I think it's just a coincidence. But -- if I don't sell the story before the film comes out, some editors will think that a I was too lazy to make up my own terms and just lifted them from a popular film.  (If it is popular, which might not happen...)

What to do?  Trying to explain the matter in the cover letter is worse than doing nothing at all -- it'll look defensive and ridiculous.  Maybe I should change the terminology in the story?

 
 
Current Location: Sleep
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: Some piece of Bach I can't identify
 
 
 
amamama: Bear - you've got a friend in meamamama on January 13th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
A wonderful example of the common subconscious. When something is first thought of, it pops up everywhere, completely unrelated. I designed a nursing top, and tried, but discovered I didn't have the energy to pursue it further. It is the reason why my username is Amamama. Two years later I discover a Swedish design that is disturbingly similar, and checking into the history discover that I beat her with about a year (I made my first nine months before she got the idea) - but I'd never shown my designs publicly. The thing is, that this designer insists that her idea is original, and I don't doubt her - she just fished it out of the great big common subconscious. What I would do is just shrug and grin. If someone mentions it, I'd just reply that it's a wonderful demonstration of how a new idea pops up several places at the same time. And the good editors will know that it takes quite some time to finish a piece. I think this is a matter where intention really matters (where intention goes, energy flows - heard that before?) - if you intend to be seen as original, and this similarity in vocabulary as a wonderful coincidence, then I think that's what you get. If you on the other hand start to worry that they'll think you a lazy git and a fraud, than that's exactly what you'll get. I know which mindset I'd opt for.