So, this happened:
A few days ago, I saw a tweet about a new book, with a plot summary that sounded remarkably like the base idea behind my current plot-in-progress. I checked it out, and sure enough, this book uses one of the same ideas I'm using. It kind of threw me, because I'm the type to think ahead and plan ahead to ridiculous levels. (It's one of the few ways I'm like Batman.) I found myself wondering what would happen in the future if the thing I'm working on becomes an actual book and gets published and people wonder if I ripped off this other person. Mentally, I was caught between "Hey, they stole my idea!" which is ludicrous, and "Oh great, now I have to come up with a new idea!" which is much the same.
Before anyone asks: no, I'm not saying what the book was. I know if I name the book or the author, and my book-to-be eventually gets published, someone will find this entry and spin it to make it sound like I'm accusing someone of stealing an idea that I had for a book I was still plotting when the other author's book was soon to be published. I know how some people on the internet work, and I'm not giving them any help.
I know it's just plain stupid to think someone stole my idea. I don't think you can steal an idea, only mimic the execution of that idea. And from what I can tell, the ways we're handling the idea differ quite a lot, and will result in very different stories. So assuming my plot eventually becomes a book, I'm not worried about being accused of ripping anyone off.
But it still threw me for a loop. Here's something I've been developing since last year, something I only came up with an actual plot for last month, something that's been slowly pulling itself out of my head ever since I came up with an antagonist and characters and a real plot. And then boom, I read about someone else doing something very similar.
I've never actually been hit with a watermelon, but that's what I imagine this feels like. A heavy shock from something completely unexpected.
I know it's all in the execution. And I plan to keep going with my plot, because the story I'm working on is nothing like the one that inspired this entry. But some small part of me, the part I don't usually let write anything on the internet, is standing with its hands on its hips and saying "Heeeeyyyyy......."
So, has this ever happened to any of y'all? Did you end up changing what you were working on because of it? Or did you go straight for the petty and ultimately doomed lawsuit? ^_^