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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
madderbradmadderbrad on January 13th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
I guess you should change the terminology, if you can think of substitutes. Either that or don't just mention it at all. The third option - trying to dismiss it in a cover letter - would appear defensive, as you say. Plus guarantee that the editor will be aware of the terminology as a possible problem ... whereas the issue might not pop up at all if he doesn't see the trailer/movie. And it would beg the question "why didn't Mr. Schneyer just change it then, if he thinks it could be a problem (why would he mention it otherwise)?".