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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
Kenken_schneyer on January 21st, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for dropping in, Lara. I like your suggestions.

I try to avoid giving specifics, in unlocked posts, about stories that haven't yet sold. While it's well known that most stories circulate among many mags before finding a home, and that only a very few mags can reasonably expect to be the first recipient, still I think it's impolitic to rub their noses in it. So I'm not mentioning the terminology because I don't want to identify the specific story.

Thanks again!